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Impact of Genomic Technologies on Chickpea Breeding Strategies

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Author(s): Pooran M. Gaur | Aravind K. Jukanti | Rajeev K. Varshney

Journal: Agronomy (Basel)
ISSN 2073-4395

Volume: 2;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 199;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: chickpea | genomics | molecular markers | marker assisted-selection | marker-assisted breeding

ABSTRACT
The major abiotic and biotic stresses that adversely affect yield of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) include drought, heat, fusarium wilt, ascochyta blight and pod borer. Excellent progress has been made in developing short-duration varieties with high resistance to fusarium wilt. The early maturity helps in escaping terminal drought and heat stresses and the adaptation of chickpea to short-season environments. Ascochyta blight continues to be a major challenge to chickpea productivity in areas where chickpea is exposed to cool and wet conditions. Limited variability for pod borer resistance has been a major bottleneck in the development of pod borer resistant cultivars. The use of genomics technologies in chickpea breeding programs has been limited, since available genomic resources were not adequate and limited polymorphism was observed in the cultivated chickpea for the available molecular markers. Remarkable progress has been made in the development of genetic and genomic resources in recent years and integration of genomic technologies in chickpea breeding has now started. Marker-assisted breeding is currently being used for improving drought tolerance and combining resistance to diseases. The integration of genomic technologies is expected to improve the precision and efficiency of chickpea breeding in the development of improved cultivars with enhanced resistance to abiotic and biotic stresses, better adaptation to existing and evolving agro-ecologies and traits preferred by farmers, industries and consumers.
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