Submitted to: Journal of Plant Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/1/2009
Publication Date: 11/1/2010
Citation: Samarah, N., Abu-Yahya, A., Grusak, M.A. 2010. Effect of maturity stages for winter- and spring-sown chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) on seed mineral content. Journal of Plant Nutrition. 33(14):2094-2103. Interpretive Summary: Chickpea is a major food legume in developing countries and provides a good source of protein, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins. In Middle Eastern countries, chickpea can be planted in the winter or spring months, but little information is available on potential differences in the mineral content of seeds harvested after winter or spring plantings, or when harvested at different maturity dates. This information is important not only from a human nutrition standpoint, but also to farmers, as the mineral composition of a seed also affects the success of seedlings grown from those seeds in subsequent plantings. Thus, we planted a chickpea variety each of two years, both in the winter and spring planting periods, and harvested pods at different stages of development. Seeds from these pods were collected and measured for mineral and nitrogen concentration and content. We found that although the concentration of several minerals decreased with developmental stage of the pods, the total content of all minerals increased with seed growth. However, seeds of spring-sown chickpea plants had higher concentrations of nitrogen and manganese than winter-sown plants. These results will be useful to consumers and farmers in selecting seeds for food use or subsequent plantings.
Technical Abstract: Two-year field experiments were conducted to study the effect of two planting dates and seed maturity on mineral content of chickpea seeds. In 2003 and 2004, chickpea "Jubiha-2" seeds were planted in late December (winter-sown) and early March (spring-sown). For both planting dates, pods were harvested at five maturity stages: 1) beginning of seed fill (BS), 2) full-sized seed (FS), 3) greenish-yellow pod (GY), 4) yellow pod (Y), and 5) brown pod (B). The concentrations of N, K, P, Mg, Ca, and Zn on a dry weight basis significantly decreased as seeds developed from the BS to the FS stage, then did not change significantly at the Y and B stages. Nutrient content (mg/seed) increased as the seed dry weight increased. Seeds from spring-sown plants had higher concentrations of N and Mn than winter-sown plants. The maximum mineral content of chickpea was achieved at seed physiological maturity.