Temperature-stratified screening of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) genetic resource collections reveals very limited reproductive chilling tolerance compared to its annual wild relatives

Berger, J.D. and Kumar, S. and Nayyar, H. and et al, . (2012) Temperature-stratified screening of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) genetic resource collections reveals very limited reproductive chilling tolerance compared to its annual wild relatives. Field Crops Research, 126. pp. 119-129.

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Low reproductive chilling tolerance in chickpea impairs ovule fertilization, delaying pod set, exposing the crop to terminal drought throughout much of its distribution range. Despite this realization, little progress has been made because of the limited genetic variation available to breeders. To address this issue a wide range of domesticated (n = 1762) and wild Cicer (n = 200) germplasm collected from sites stratified by flowering phase temperature was extensively field evaluated, and compared with Lupinus angustifolius, a well-adapted Mediterranean winter annual. Chilling tolerance was estimated by regressing the time interval between pod set and first flower against mean post-anthesis temperature. Field screening was augmented by smaller scale experiments evaluating the effects of contrasting post-anthesis temperature regimes on plant growth and productivity, pollen function and subsequent pod set in temperature-controlled cabinets. Chickpea was less chilling tolerant than its wild relatives, the flower-pod interval increasing curvilinearly as sites became cooler, with a strong effects between 11 and 16 ◦C, tailing off after 17.5 ◦C, but remaining statistically significant. There is little useful variation for chilling tolerance within domesticated chickpea. Small, albeit statistically significant differences in pod set delay in chickpea collected from contrasting flowering phase habitats, were marginal compared to more tolerant species such as Cicer bijugum, Cicer judaicum and L. angustifolius, and to a lesser extent Cicer reticulatum, Cicer pinnatifidum, and Cicer echinospermum. No differences were observed between desi and kabuli types. Field screening identified robust chilling tolerance in a C. echinospermum accession that commenced podding earlier, at lower temperatures (10.0 ◦C), and yielded 5 times more than Rupali, the most productive chickpea. Controlled temperature experiments confirmed that in contrast to chickpea, pollen germination, viability, frequency on the stigma surface and subsequent pod set were unaffected by low post-anthesis temperatures (13/7 ◦C) in C. echinospermum and L. angustifolius. Our results indicate that chickpea is even more chilling sensitive than previously thought. Because C. echinospermum is inter-fertile with chickpea, it has considerable potential both as a donor of robust chilling tolerance and as an agent for investigating resistance mechanisms.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The authors would like to acknowledge generous research funding support from the Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST), Australia, the Department of Science and Technology (DST), India, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the Australian Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC). Ms. Christiane Ludwig, Stephanie Whitehand, Rebecca Parsons and Dr. Sommer Jenkins are thanked for their technical expertise, particularly in running temperature controlled experiments, and field evaluation in Australia and beyond. The Australian Temperate Field Crops Collection (ATFCC), ICRISAT and ICARDA are thanked for providing both the passport data and genetic resources for this chilling tolerance evaluation.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Chickpea; Wild Cicer; Chilling tolerance; Adaptation; Ecogeography; Focused identification of germplasm strategy (FIGS)
Author Affiliation: CSIRO Plant Industry, Private Bag No. 5, Wembley, WA 6913, Australia
Subjects: Crop Improvement
Divisions: Chickpea
Depositing User: Mr Siva Shankar
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2012 03:23
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2012 03:23
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fcr.2011.09.020
URI: http://eprints.icrisat.ac.in/id/eprint/9172

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