Variation of SPAD Chlorophyll Meter Readings (SCMR) in the Mini-Core Germplasm Collection of Chickpea uri icon


  • Drought is one of the major causes of yield losses inchickpea (Cicer arietinum). A large portion of suchlosses can be avoided through crop improvement. Simpleanalytical models are often used to dissect out and tounderstand the effects of model parameters on the finalyield. Passioura (1977) proposed one such model whereyield is considered a function of transpiration, transpirationefficiency (TE) defined as crop biomass production perunit water transpired, and harvest index. Among thesethree components, genetic enhancement of TE has beentaken up as a major research effort in crop improvementprograms throughout the world (Bindu Madhava et al.2003). Although TE is considered a highly useful trait, itwas also categorized as a difficult one to screen. Therefore,it becomes necessary to identify surrogate traits that areclosely associated with TE for rapid screening of a largenumber of genotypes. A direct close relationship of TEwith SPAD Chlorophyll Meter Readings (SCMR) wasreported in groundnut (Nageswara Rao et al. 2001; BinduMadhava et al. 2003) and SCMR is a direct linearrelationship through extracted leaf chlorophyll (Yadava1986) and also related leaf nitrogen concentration (Kantetyet al. 1996; Bullock and Anderson 1998). The advantagessuch as easy and rapid measurement, nondestructivemethod and light weight made SPAD meters the bestchoice for use in the trait-based groundnut breedingprogram to improve the drought tolerance of groundnut atthe International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) (Serraj et al. 2004).The samestrategy can be applied to chickpea, provided baselineinformation is available on genetic diversity of SCMR inchickpea. The chickpea mini-core collection has been chosento collect such information as the number is manageablefor initial exploratory efforts and it represents thediversity of the whole germplasm collection (Upadhyayaand Ortiz 2001), Thus, the main objective of this studywas to document the extent of variation available for theSCMR readings in the mini-core germplasm of chickpea,and also to identify accessions with contrasting SCMR

publication date

  • 2006