Characterization and molecular mapping of drought tolerance in kabuli chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.)
Rehman, Aziz Ur
Abstract Drought is the most common abiotic stress limiting chickpea production in the world. Ninety percent of the world’s chickpea is produced in areas relying upon conserved, receding soil moisture, therefore, crop productivity is largely dependent on efficient utilization of available soil moisture. Because of the variability in drought pattern from year to year, trait based selection could have an advantage over selection on the basis of grain yield alone. Trait based breeding, however, requires trait dissection into components. Successful marker identification would facilitate integration of MAS procedures in breeding programs enabling the pyramiding of favourable alleles. The genetic map produced in this study was based on a population of recombinant inbred lines of a cross of ILC 588 x ILC 3279 containing 52 SSR markers spanned 335 cM of the chickpea genome at an average density of 6.4 cM. A total of 13 genomic regions were shown to be associated with drought tolerance traits. Some of these genomic regions showed pleiotropic effect on multiple traits. This was also supported by the analysis of phenotypic data where these traits were found to be correlated. For example, early flowering and maturity had a strong association with high grain yield. High grain yield was also associated with better portioning ability between biomass and grain yield, i.e. harvest index. Drought tolerance score (DTS) was associated with various important traits including biomass, early flowering, early maturity. This study also concluded that chickpea genotypes differed in terms of root length, root length density, root weight density and root length to weight ratio at every 20 cm soil layer up to 100 cm depth in response to water deficits. Consideration of an efficient root system vs. a larger root system is also important, since in this research, large root systems were offset by low harvest index, presumably due to the lack of assimilate available for grain growth. A restricted root system is important in environments like Western Canada, where crop growth termination is usually required prior to fall frost. This study also reported significant associations of stomatal conductance (gs) with each of HI, grain yield under drought, drought susceptibility index and drought tolerance score (DTS). Stomatal conductance can also be used to assess plant stress due to drought. Values of gs less than 250 mmol m-2s-1 during flowering indicated drought stress under greenhouse conditions. A higher degree of plant stress due to drought was shown by increased stomatal closure at midday (gs
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
SupervisorWarkentin, Tom D.
CommitteeMuehlbauer, Fred J.; Malhotra, Rajinder S.; Coulman, Bruce E.; Bueckert, Rosalind A.; Bett, Kirstin E.; Van Rees, Ken C. J.