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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pullman, Washington » Plant Germplasm Introduction and Testing Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #178986


item Coyne, Clarice - Clare
item Cashman, Michael
item Chen, Weidong
item Muehlbauer, Frederick

Submitted to: International Chickpea and Pigeonpea Newsletter
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/26/2005
Publication Date: 7/29/2005
Citation: Coyne, C.J., Sharp-Vincent, T., Cashman, M.J., Watt, C., Chen, W., Muehlbauer, F.J., Mallikarjuna, N. 2005. Simplified germination of perennial cicer. International Chickpea NDA Pigeonpea Newsletter, V. 12, P. 16.

Interpretive Summary: The USDA ARS National Plant Germplasm System chickpea collection consists of cultivated Cicer arietinum accessions containing genetic diversity immediately accessible for breeding, and wild uncultivated species that may be of importance in the future as sources of resistance genes to biotic and abiotic stresses impacting chickpea production. This procedure provided uniform germination of most of the perennial Cicer accessions, except C. montbretti. Aseptic germination of perennial chickpea on water agar is a fast and efficient method to provide a uniform set of transplants for field regenerations and provide sufficient uniform seedlings for replicated screenings for biotic and abiotic resistances. Once established, grafting may also be useful in supplying plants for resistance testing experiments. Further research on germination conditions is needed on recalcitrant accessions, especially C. monbretti, and to improve surface disinfestation of the seed to reduce lost to fungal and bacterial contamination (rotted seed).

Technical Abstract: The wild chickpea species in the USDA ARS National Plant Germplasm System collection include 113 accessions of seven annual wild Cicer species and 59 accessions representing 13 perennial Cicer species (available online at The previous germination method of the perennial Cicer species was to aerate seed in fresh water and the seed would then germinate over weeks (Kaiser et al 1997). N. Kameswara Rao has used in vitro germination on water agar to successfully uniformly germinate annual wild Cicer species (personal communication, 2000). An in vitro germination method was studied as an alternative method to provide uniform germination of the perennial species with the goal of establishing a nursery for regeneration and evaluation of inter- and intra- accession genetic variability. Twenty-eight accessions of nine perennial species were surface disinfested, scarified, and cultured under sterile conditions on water agar. The average germination of 26 accessions of eight species was 82%. One species, C. monbretii (two accessions), failed to germinate in vitro. An additional 13 accessions were successfully germinated with the same method (data not shown) and three other accessions of C. monbretii also failed to germinate on water agar.