Genetic analysis of earliness traits in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.)
Kabeta, Yadeta Anbessa
The latter part of the reproductive growth phase in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) often coincides with declining temperature and wet conditions in western Canada, in sharp contrast to many other growing environments. This exacerbates the indeterminate nature of the crop, leading to excessive canopy development, and subsequently resulting in delayed maturity. The objectives of this study were to: i) determine the genetic relationships of short internode, double podding and early flowering traits with earliness of crop maturity; ii) determine the genetic control of major earliness traits in chickpea; iii) assess the patterns of post-flowering dry matter accumulation and partitioning to reproductive parts as related to earliness. The results showed that double podding significantly reduced the number of days taken to maturity, under the conditions where this trait was sufficiently expressed. The best double podding genotypes, i.e. those with 15—35% of the podded nodes bearing double pods, were about one week earlier than their single podding counterparts and standard checks. A physiological study revealed that the double podding parental genotype 272-2 partitioned a relatively greater proportion (about 58%) of the total dry matter to pods compared to 42—54% in the single podding genotypes. Double podding increased the total number of pods set, and thus the increased demand for assimilates may have precluded further production of stems and leaves, resulting in an earlier transition of reproductive growth to physiological maturity. Days to flowering was positively associated with days to maturity, and partial path analysis revealed that days to flowering contributed to days to maturity indirectly via days to first pod maturity. Days to flowering explained 32% of the variation in days to first pod maturity. However, the short internode trait had an undesirable effect, in that all the short internode segregants were too late to mature. Genetic studies revealed that days to flowering was determined by two major genes plus polygenes in chickpea in the short-season temperate environment of western Canada. The two major genes control over 65% of the phenotypic variation. Also, the additive component of genetic variance was significant for days to first podding, days to first pod maturity, reproductive period, and days to maturity; which is desirable for development of superior inbred cultivars of chickpea. These key phenological traits are interrelated but could be manipulated separately in the breeding process. Additional gain in earliness of crop maturity may be achieved through combined selection for these traits.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
SupervisorWarkentin, Tom D.
CommitteeVandenberg, Albert; Davis, Arthur R.; Coulman, Bruce E.; Bueckert, Rosalind A.
short-season temperate environment
major gene-minor gene mixed inheritance
joint segregation analysis
dry matter accumulation
predicted genetic gain
pod harvest index
dry matter partitioning