Location: Corn Insects and Crop Genetics ResearchTitle: Draft genome sequence of chickpea (Cicer arietinum) provides a resource for trait improvement Author
Submitted to: Nature Biotechnology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/21/2012
Publication Date: 1/27/2013
Citation: Varshney, R.K., Song, C., Saxena, R.K., Azam, S., Yu, S., Sharpe, A.G., Cannon, S.B., Rosen, B., Tar'An, B., Millan, T., et al. 2013. Draft genome sequence of chickpea (Cicer arietinum) provides a resource for trait improvement. Nature Biotechnology. 31:240-246. Interpretive Summary: Chickpea is the world's second most important grain legume crop (after soybean), accounting for a significant proportion of human dietary protein for many people and playing a critical role in food security in developing countries. This research reports the sequence of the genome (the full set of DNA instruction) for a variety of chickpea that is widely grown in North America, as well as partial genome sequences for 90 other cultivated and wild chickpea varieties. This work provides chickpea breeders with information that can be used to more efficiently breed varieties that are resistant to diseases and environmental stresses, and to improve qualities such as nutrition and yield.
Technical Abstract: Chickpea (Cicer arietinum) is the world’s second most important grain legume crop, accounting for a significant proportion of human dietary protein and playing a critical role in food security in developing countries. We report the sequence of the ~738 Mb kabuli (CDC Frontier) chickpea genome, which combined with re-sequencing of 90 cultivated and wild genotypes from 10 chickpea grown countries comprise a resource for molecular breeding, and provide insight into genome diversity and breeding history. The current assembly contains an estimated 28,269 genes. We identify genome regions with low overall genetic differentiation, proposed targets of breeding-associated genetic sweeps. We also identify regions of recently elevated nucleotide diversity, proposed targets of breeding-associated balancing selection. These genome intervals contain candidate genes for agronomic traits, including those distinguishing the two market classes of cultivated chickpea, as well as genes for disease resistance. This report portends a fundamental shift in strategies for chickpea improvement.