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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Small Grain and Food Crops Quality Research » Research » Research Project #436496

Research Project: Optimizing Nondulation in Chickpea for Enhanced Nitrogen Fixation

Location: Small Grain and Food Crops Quality Research

Project Number: 3060-21650-002-001-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2019
End Date: Aug 31, 2024

Objectives for the life of the project will be to: (1) Identify rhizobia strains with improved abiotic stress tolerance, nodulation and N fixation for use as chickpea inoculants; (2) Determine best practices regarding chickpea seed treatment and fertilization for maintaining nodulation and N fixation; (3) Identify breeding lines and existing varieties which have superior nodulation and N fixing capabilities; and (4) Determine variability in host gene expression and underlying genes responsible for enhanced nodulation and nitrogen fixation in chickpea.

This project seeks to improve nodulation and nitrogen fixation in chickpeas by identifying indigenous rhizobial strains adapted to growing conditions in the Northern Great Plains, which provide superior nitrogen fixation. We will evaluate available chickpea varieties and breeding lines for identification of those with enhanced nodulation and nitrogen fixation. Transcriptomic analysis will be conducted on chickpea lines inoculated with rhizobia to determine genes that may be useful in breeding programs for identifying lines with improved nodulation and nitrogen fixation. Seed applied fungicides will be evaluated for compatibility with rhizobial inoculants. The effect on starter fertilizer containing sulfur on nodulation will be determined to generate best management practices for growers seeking to maximize nitrogen fixation.