Cicer species - Conserved Resources, Priorities for Collection and Future Prospects uri icon

abstract

  • The genus Cicer encompasses 34 wild perennial species, 8 annual wild species, and one annual cultivated species. Most of these species are found in the West Asia and North African region covering Turkey in the north to Ethiopia in the south, and Pakistan in the east to Morocco in the west. Chickpea (Cicer arietinum) is the only cultivated species, and is the second most important pulse crop in the world. The two most closely related species to the cultigen, C. reticulatum, and C. echinospermum, are endemic in southeastern Turkey and adjoining areas of northern Iraq. Good collections have been made and categorized using descriptors. As the level of tolerance to some of the biotic and abiotic stresses is not at a satisfactory level in the cultivated species, limited efforts have been made to collect and evaluate the wild Cicer species. For some of the wild annual species namely, C. yamashitae, C. cuneatum, and C. chorassanicum, there are only a few accessions in the collection and more need to be collected. The annual Cicer species are not difficult to grow, and can be conserved and rejuvenated without much difficulty. But the perennial Cicer species are extremely difficult to grow. They probably need their original habitats and should be conserved in situ. The cultivated species has been extensively developed but it still lacks resistance to many biotic and abiotic stresses. The wild annual species have been evaluated for resistance to these stresses. They provide good prospects for the improvement of chickpea. Desirable genes have been introgressed from the wild species, which are crossable, but not all species are crossable with chickpea and further research is needed. It is hoped biotechnology and tissue culture in future will permit the introgression of their genes into chickpea

publication date

  • 2000
  • 2000