Key factors affiliated with drought tolerance in chickpea

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Key factors affiliated with drought tolerance in chickpea

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Key factors affiliated with drought tolerance in chickpea ( Cicer arietinum l. ): A review Geetika Mehta 1 * and P. K. Verma 2 Department of Genetics & Plant Breeding 1 and Dryland Agriculture 2 CCS HAU, Hisar 125004, Haryana, India Email: geetikamehta1326@yahoo.co.in INTRODUCTION AND ABSTRACT Chickpea is an important and highly acceptable crop during winter for drought prone areas of India and world. More than 85% chickpea is grown as rainfed mostly on residual soil moisture after harvest of kharif crops. Estimates of yield losses due to drought range from 15-60%. Estimates also indicate that not more than 25 per cent of total chickpea area is expected to be under irrigation. Species and genotypes vary in their capacity to tolerate water stress. Genetic improvement is the only alternative for yield stability under water stress environment. To achieve this, an understanding of physiological processes associated with drought tolerance is essential. Chickpea grown under dry land (Fig. A) conditions and resistant with deeper root system (Fig. B and C) A B C Since a large number of traits collectively confer yield under drought, there is a need to identify genotypes to introduce diversity in drought tolerance breeding programs. The progress in breeding for drought tolerance is slow due to the quantitative nature and lack of variability of available moisture across years. Deep and prolific root system is a high priority trait that can improve drought tolerance in chickpea. Besides, moisture content at different depth at the time of sowing, morphological parameters, physiological parameters like relative leaf water content, membrane injury index of leaf, specific leaf weight, leaf water potential and osmotic potential should be recorded to evaluate genotypes tolerant to drought. Based upon lower membrane injury, higher seedling growth, osmotic regulation and water use efficiency that resulted in lower drought susceptibility index, promising genotypes identified were RSG-44, RSG-143-1 and ICC-4958. Genotype ICC 13124 was identified promising, due to more root length, root weight and root volume. A chickpea genomics consortium on drought tolerance was established to dissect the complex phenomenon of drought tolerance in chickpea through functional genomics, structural genomics and reverse genetics tools. CHARACTERS ASSOCIATED WITH DROUGHT TOLERANCE PROMISING GENOTYPES A chickpea genomics consortium on drought tolerance (ICRISAT) Therefore, researches on the morphological, physiological, biochemical and molecular parameters related to drought tolerance would bring the phenomenon under the control of plant breeders. FUTURE STRATEGIES Exhaustive screening of chickpea germplasm for drought tolerance. Involving these selected genotypes in crossing programmes. Adopting Pedigree schemes or Backcross Schemes would produce resistant varieties. Integrating Inter-disciplinary approaches and genomics would fasten the process of improving this quantitative trait. NOTE: Presenting author is PhD student of Department of Genetics and Plant Breeding. The above review is part of her PhD Research. ROOT TRAITS

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