Low-Temperature Stress: Implications for Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) Improvement

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Chickpea is the third major cool season grain legume crop in the world after dry bean and field pea. Chilling and freezing range temperatures in many of its production regions adversely affect chickpea production. This review provides a comprehensive account of the current information regarding the tolerance of chickpea. to freezing and chilling range temperatures. The effect of freezing and chilling at the major phenological stages of chickpea growth are discussed, and its ability for acclimation and winter hardiness is reviewed. Response mechanisms to chilling and freezing are considered at the molecular, cellular, whole plant, and canopy levels. The genetics of tolerance to freezing in chickpea. are outlined. Sources of resistance to both freezing and chilling from within the cultivated and wild Cicer genepools are compared and novel breeding technologies for the improvement of tolerance in chickpea are suggested. We also suggest future research be directed toward understanding the mechanisms involved in cold tolerance of chickpea. at the physiological, biochemical, and molecular level. Further screening of both the cultivated and wild Cicer species is required in order to identify superior sources of tolerance, especially to chilling at the reproductive stages.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-219
JournalCritical Reviews in Plant Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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