Shoot traits and their relevance in terminal drought tolerance of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.)

Purushothaman, R and Krishnamurthy, L and Upadhyaya, H D and Vadez, V and Varshney, R K (2016) Shoot traits and their relevance in terminal drought tolerance of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.). Field Crops Research, 197 (-). pp. 10-27. ISSN 03784290

PDF (It is an Open Access article) - Published Version
Download (1MB) | Preview


Chickpea is the second most important legume crop largely grown under semi-arid tropics where terminal drought is one of the major constraints for its productivity. A trait-based selection had been considered more beneficial in drought tolerance breeding to overcome the environmental influence on drought yields. Large number of traits had been suggested in literature, with less indication on their importance and priority, for use in such breeding programs resulting in poor utilization of critical traits in drought tolerance breeding. To identify the most critical traits that contribute to grain yield under drought, 12 chickpea genotypes, with well-defined drought response, were field evaluated by sampling at regular intervals during the cropping period. Large range of variation was observed for shoot biomass productivity, specific leaf area (SLA) and leaf area index (LAI) at different days after sowings (DAS), canopy temperature depression (CTD) at mid-reproductive stages, growth duration and both morphological and analytical yield components. Grain yield under drought was closely associated with the rate of partitioning (p), crop growth rate (C), CTD, phenology, LAI at mid-pod fill stage, pod number m−2 at maturity, shoot biomass at reproductive growth stages and SLA at physiological maturity. The shoot trait(s) were prioritized based on their significance and contribution to drought tolerance. The trait(s) that conferred tolerance varied across genotypes. The order of traits/plant functions identified as important and critical for the drought tolerance were p, C, CTD, growth duration and other related traits. Relatively less important traits were LAI, SLA at the mid reproductive stage and pod number per unit area at maturity. The traits Dr, seeds pod−1 and 100-seed weight were found to be least important. Breeding for the best combination of p and C with the right phenology was proposed to be the best selection strategy to enhance terminal drought tolerance in chickpea.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : Genetic Gains
CRP: CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Canopy temperature depression; Crop growth rate; Field phenotyping; Partitioning coefficient; Specific leaf area, Chickpea
Subjects: Mandate crops > Chickpea
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2016 05:05
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2016 10:27
Official URL:
Funders: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Acknowledgement: This work was fully supported by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through a Generation Challenge Program grant (G4008-12. Linking genetic diversity with phenotype for drought tolerance traits through molecular and physiological characterization of a diverse reference collection of chickpea). The technical support of Mr J. Shankaraiah in managing the field experiments is gratefully acknowledged.
View Statistics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item