Chickpea: Crop Wild Relatives for Enhancing Genetic Gains explores aspects related to critical analysis on factors responsible for narrow genetic base of chickpea productions including domestication bottleneck, the level of diversity present in different cultivated and wild species, the uniqueness and usefulness of potential gene sources available and maintained in production systems across the globe, the level of genetic erosion both at landrace and species level over time and space etc. Despite considerable international investment in conventional breeding, production of chickpea has not yet been significantly improved beyond that achieved through its normal single domestication event and high self-pollination rate. Total annual pulse production of ~12 million tons (FAO 2016) is far below actual potential. Susceptibility to both biotic and abiotic stresses have created a production level bottleneck whose solution possibly lies in the use of crop wild relatives and other genetic traits cultivated by tailoring novel germplasm.
Presenting options for widening the genetic base of chickpea cultivars by introgression of diverse genes available in distantly related wild Cicer taxa, thus expanding the genetic base and maximize genetic gains from the selection, it is necessary to accumulate other complimentary alleles from CWRs. This review will focus on present status of gene pool and species distribution, germplasm conservation, characterization and evaluation, problems associated with crop production, sources of target traits available in wild species, status of trait introgression in synthesizing new gene pool of chickpea along with progress made in chickpea genomics.
An edited book with contributions from leading scientists, this information will guide and inform chickpea breeders, PGR researchers and crop biologists across the world.
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1. Introduction 2. Origin, Distribution, and Gene Pools 3. Genetic Resources: Genetic resources: Collection, conservation (in-situ and ex-situ), characterization and maintenance 4. Conventional Cytogenetic Manipulations 5. Embryo Rescue and Chromosomal Manipulations 6. Gene Pyramiding and Multiple Character Breeding 7. Molecular Marker-Assisted Gene Pyramiding 8. Genetic transformation 9. Chickpea Economy in India
Dr Mohar Singh has made an outstanding contribution in the management of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture in India. His research interest reflects a continuum of high quality basic and strategic research in pulses. He has developed 3 core sets, 2 reference sets, registered 4 genetic stocks, 25 gene sequences, 06 farmer varieties and 2 lentil varieties developed through distant hybridization for rainfed areas of north-western Indian himalaya. Conducted 10 explorations on crop wild relatives (CWRs) and explored >900 wild germplasm of cereals, oilseeds and pulses. He is instrumental to initiate pre-breeding in chickpea and lentil in India for securing national nutritional demand. His pioneer research work on understanding the population structure and diversity assessment of global wild species of lentil and chickpea is very well known. This has led to the identification of most target gene sources in the secondary and tertiary gene pool of chickpea and lentil for biofortification of cultivated varieties including several yield and major biotic and abiotic stress related traits were successfully incorporated in cultivated backgrounds of these two important pulse crops. Successful deployment of marker assisted breeding for introgression of two most promising superior haplotypes with high seed weight and high pod number from cultivated and wild species into high yielding varieties of chickpea for improving their overall yield and productivity. Dr Singh has a distinguished record of high quality peer research publications to his credit including scientific reports, DNA Research, Plant Science, Frontiers in Plant Science, PLOS ONE, Plant Breeding, Crop Science, Euphytica, Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution, Journal of Experimental Biology, Plant Genetic Resources of Cambridge, Journal of Genetics, Journal of Environmental Biology, Advances in Hort Science, Journal of Genetics and Breeding, and Indian J. Genet. He is recipient of Harbhajan Memorial Award.