Chickpea: Crop Improvement under Changing Environment Conditions uri icon

abstract

  • Chickpea, Cicer arietinum, is the second most important food legume in Asia after dry beans. Chickpea is an important source of protein, minerals, fiber, and vitamins in the diets of millions of people in Asia and Africa. Chickpea is also rich in essential amino acid lysine and deficient in sulfur-containing amino acids, methionine, and cysteine. Chickpea is mainly used for human consumption and only a small proportion is used as feed. It meets 80% of its N requirement from symbiotic nitrogen fixation and leaves substantial amount of residual nitrogen for the subsequent crops. It is a hardy crop well adapted to stress environments and a boon to the resource-poor marginal farmers in the tropics and subtropics. Average yields of chickpea are nearly 780?kg/ha, although farmers can harvest more than 2.5?tons/ha. The crop potential is nearly 5?tons/ha. Abiotic (drought, heat, and cold stress) and biotic (pod borers ? Helicoverpa armigera and Spodoptera exigua, aphids ? Aphis craccivora, leaf miner ? Liriomyza cicerina, and bruchid ? Callosobruchus chinensis) and diseases (Fusarium wilt, Ascochyta blight, Botrytis gray mold, and root rots) are the major stresses that constrain chickpea production in farmers fields. The major challenge is to reduce the losses due to biotic and abiotic constraints, and close the yield gap through crop improvement and crop management in future. A combination of productivity enhancement through varietal improvement, including biotechnological interventions, and integrated crop management is needed to realize the yield potential of this crop for improving food and nutritional security. Considerable progress has been made in developing high-yielding chickpea varieties to increase the productivity of this crop, while conventional breeding has been successfully used to breed disease-resistant varieties, little progress has been made in developing pod borer and drought-tolerant varieties, as the levels of resistance available in the cultivated germplasm are quite low. Wild relatives of chickpea have high levels of resistance to pod borer. Marker-assisted selection and genetic engineering of chickpea are being exploited to increase the levels of resistance/tolerance to these constraints and in future

publication date

  • 2012
  • 2012