Integrating genomics for chickpea improvement: achievements and opportunities

Manish Roorkiwal, Chellapilla Bharadwaj, Rutwik Barmukh, Girish P. Dixit, Mahendar Thudi, Pooran M. Gaur, Sushil K. Chaturvedi, Asnake Fikre, Aladdin Hamwieh, Shiv Kumar, Supriya Sachdeva, Chris O. Ojiewo, Bunyamin Tar’an, Nigusie Girma Wordofa, Narendra P. Singh, Kadambot H.M. Siddique, Rajeev K. Varshney

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Key message: Integration of genomic technologies with breeding efforts have been used in recent years for chickpea improvement. Modern breeding along with low cost genotyping platforms have potential to further accelerate chickpea improvement efforts. Abstract: The implementation of novel breeding technologies is expected to contribute substantial improvements in crop productivity. While conventional breeding methods have led to development of more than 200 improved chickpea varieties in the past, still there is ample scope to increase productivity. It is predicted that integration of modern genomic resources with conventional breeding efforts will help in the delivery of climate-resilient chickpea varieties in comparatively less time. Recent advances in genomics tools and technologies have facilitated the generation of large-scale sequencing and genotyping data sets in chickpea. Combined analysis of high-resolution phenotypic and genetic data is paving the way for identifying genes and biological pathways associated with breeding-related traits. Genomics technologies have been used to develop diagnostic markers for use in marker-assisted backcrossing programmes, which have yielded several molecular breeding products in chickpea. We anticipate that a sequence-based holistic breeding approach, including the integration of functional omics, parental selection, forward breeding and genome-wide selection, will bring a paradigm shift in development of superior chickpea varieties. There is a need to integrate the knowledge generated by modern genomics technologies with molecular breeding efforts to bridge the genome-to-phenome gap. Here, we review recent advances that have led to new possibilities for developing and screening breeding populations, and provide strategies for enhancing the selection efficiency and accelerating the rate of genetic gain in chickpea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1703-1720
Number of pages18
JournalTheoretical and Applied Genetics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020


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