Integrating genomics for chickpea improvement: achievements and opportunities

Roorkiwal, M and Bharadwaj, C and Barmukh, R and Dixit, G P and Thudi, M and Gaur, P M and Chaturvedi, S K and Fikre, A and Hamwieh, A and Kumar, S and Sachdeva, S and Ojiewo, C O and Tar’an, B and Wordofa, N G and Singh, N P and Siddique, K H M and Varshney, R K (2020) Integrating genomics for chickpea improvement: achievements and opportunities. Theoretical and Applied Genetics (TSI), 133 (5). pp. 1703-1720. ISSN 0040-5752

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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.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : Asia
Research Program : East & Southern Africa
Research Program : Genetic Gains
CRP: CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals (GLDC)
Uncontrolled Keywords: chickpea, Genomics, Breeding
Subjects: Others > Plant Breeding
Mandate crops > Chickpea
Others > Genetics and Genomics
Depositing User: Mr Arun S
Date Deposited: 15 May 2020 08:37
Last Modified: 15 May 2020 08:37
Official URL:
Funders: BMGF
Acknowledgement: The authors thank the Tropical Legumes Project funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for financial assistance. M.R. and R.K.V. thank the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, for providing funding support through the INSPIRE Faculty Scheme and Early Career Research Award – SERB and the JC Bose Fellowship, respectively. R.B. acknowledges the support from Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), India, for the award of research fellowship. The work reported in this article was undertaken as a part of CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals (GLDC). ICRISAT is a member of the CGIAR Consortium.
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