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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pullman, Washington » Grain Legume Genetics Physiology Research » Research » Research Project #435545

Research Project: Improving the Nutritional Value of Chickpeas

Location: Grain Legume Genetics Physiology Research

Project Number: 2090-21000-034-13-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2018
End Date: Aug 31, 2020

Objective:
Enhancing nutritional qualities of pulse crops has been widely proposed as part of strategies to improve global nutrition. Our goal is to develop improved chickpea varieties with superior agronomic traits and nutritional qualities. The objectives of this research are: 1) Field screening of chickpea breeding lines and varieties for seed concentrations of iron, zinc, fiber, protein, and fatty acids, and 2) Identifying genetic markers associated with seed concentrations of protein, iron, zinc, and fatty acids.

Approach:
Our approach for Objective 1 is as follows: In 2018 we planted chickpea yield trials and observation plots at several locations in Washington and Idaho. Advanced yield trials were planted at four locations: Pullman, WA, Fairfield, WA, Walla Walla, WA, and Genesee, ID. The same entries are planted at each location including six commercial varieties and 15 USDA, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) breeding lines. We also established a preliminary chickpea yield trial at Pullman, WA. This includes two commercial varieties and 31 ARS breeding lines with three replicated plots (1.2 x 6.1 m) for each entry planted in a randomized complete block design (RCBD). All plots will be mechanically harvested, cleaned and weighed. After harvest, hundred seed weight (HSW) will be determined for each plot from a random 100g seed sample. Commercial chickpea varieties and advanced and preliminary chickpea breeding lines will be evaluated for seed concentrations of protein, iron, zinc, and select fatty acids. Concentrations of protein, iron, zinc, and fatty acids will be determined by the Cooperator using cleaned seed samples from each plot. Seeds (with seed coats) will be ground to a uniform powder and wet digested followed with analysis by inductively-coupled plasma atomic-emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES) to determine iron and zinc concentrations. Seed protein concentrations will be calculated based on seed nitrogen concentrations, which will be established using a LECO FP-528 Determinator. Fatty acid analysis will be conducted by converting seed lipids to fatty acid methyl esters (FAME), which will be resolved by GC-MS to determine concentrations of several fatty acids including oleic, linoleic, a-linoleic acid, palmitic, stearic, and heptodecanoic acid. Our approach for Objective 2 is as follows: A chickpea diversity panel consisting of 300 accessions will be grown in the field at Pullman, WA to detect marker-trait associations. All plots will be mechanically harvested, cleaned and weighed. Concentrations of protein, iron, zinc, and fatty acids will be determined by the Cooperator using cleaned seed samples from each plot. Marker-trait associations will be detected by genome-wide association methods.