Genetic dissection of domestication traits in interspecific chickpea populations

Toby E. Newman, Silke Jacques, Christy Grime, Fredrick M. Mobegi, Fiona L. Kamphuis, Yuphin Khentry, Robert Lee, Lars G. Kamphuis

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Chickpea (Cicer arietinum) is a pulse crop that provides an integral source of nutrition for human consumption. The close wild relatives Cicer reticulatum and Cicer echinospermum harbor untapped genetic diversity that can be exploited by chickpea breeders to improve domestic varieties. Knowledge of genomic loci that control important chickpea domestication traits will expedite the development of improved chickpea varieties derived from interspecific crosses. Therefore, we set out to identify genomic loci underlying key chickpea domestication traits by both association and quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping using interspecific F2 populations. Diverse phenotypes were recorded for various agronomic traits. A total of 11 high-confidence markers were detected on chromosomes 1, 3, and 7 by both association and QTL mapping; these were associated with growth habit, flowering time, and seed traits. Furthermore, we identified candidate genes linked to these markers, which advanced our understanding of the genetic basis of domestication traits and validated known genes such as the FLOWERING LOCUS gene cluster that regulates flowering time. Collectively, this study has elucidated the genetic basis of chickpea domestication traits, which can facilitate the development of superior chickpea varieties.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere20408
JournalPlant Genome
Issue number1
Early online date2023
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024

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