Chickpeas seem to be everywhere lately (like hiding in your pantry) and for good reason; this protein-packed legume is high in fiber, folate and zinc, and has been said to even help with weight loss. Summer is oncoming, the season the most need to display figures, so let us learn more about the amazing weight reduce item: chickpea.
The latest research shows, in a paper published in Nature Genetics, collaborated by International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, BGI and other units, that whole-genome re-sequencing of 429 lines sampled from 45 countries, which is the largest Chickpea population re-sequencing project.
Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) is an important source of protein for millions of people in developing countries. It is also a rich source of β-carotene and minerals including phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. It is one of the earliest cultivated legumes: 7,500-year-old remains have been found in the Middle East, which is main source of protein in the semi-arid tropics of Africa and Asia. Changes in global climate pose immense challenges for plant breeders to maintain and further enhance yield in varying environments. The development and adoption of improved crop varieties with higher yield and nutrition is expected to reduce the number of malnourished people across the world, especially in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
This study undertook WGRS of the chickpea reference set (300 genotypes) and analyzed the data along with WGRS data on 100 chickpea released varieties18 and 29 lines from the chickpea genome paper19. Thus, in total, 429 chickpea genotypes were used to understand genome diversity, population structure, crop domestication and post-domestication diversification.
This study reports the sequencing and analysis of a large germplasm collection, not only for chickpea but for legume crops.This study, therefore, provides a resource (both alleles/haplotypes as well as lines) for re-structuring breeding programs;
This study should enable breeders to enhance the use of diverse germplasm and candidate genes in developing improved (climatechange-ready) cultivars that hopefully will contribute significantly to the increased productivity and sustainability of agricultural development in developing countries.
Reference: Varshney, R. et al. Resequencing of 429 chickpea accessions from 45 countries provides insights into genome diversity, domestication and agronomic traits. Nat. Genet. (2019)