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Title: Vernalization response of domesticated× wild chickpea progeny is subject to strong genotype by environment interaction

item OSS, RUTH - Hebrew University Of Jerusalem
item SHERMAN, AMIR - Volcani Center (ARO)
item ZHANG, HONG-BIN - Texas A&M University
item Vandemark, George
item Coyne, Clarice - Clare
item ABBO, SHAHAL - Hebrew University Of Jerusalem

Submitted to: Plant Breeding
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/28/2015
Publication Date: 11/27/2015
Citation: Oss, R.P., Sherman, A., Zhang, H., Vandemark, G.J., Coyne, C.J., Abbo, S. 2015. Vernalization response of domesticated× wild chickpea progeny is subject to strong genotype by environment interaction. Plant Breeding. 135:102-110.

Interpretive Summary: Domesticated chickpea is thought to have originated from its wild relative 10000 to 8,000 years ago in southern Turkey. Early in its domestication chickpea was converted from a fall-sown crop to a spring-sown crop in southwestern Asia and southeastern Europe, most likely in response to severe crop losses due to Ascochyta blight, which remains to this day the most globally destructive disease of chickpea. However, chickpeas that are planted in the spring have to rely on soil moisture that remains from winter and spring rains, which may result in lower yields than from chickpeas that are planted in the autumn. The establishment of chickpea as an autumn sown crop may also confer other advantages in addition to increased yield. The ability to conduct pre-plant field preparation and sowing in the autumn allows growers to more evenly distribute resources across a calendar year. In the US Pacific Northwest a production system characterized by summer fallow followed by winter wheat, which results in a single crop every two years, is practiced on over 4 million acres that receive less than 10 inches of annual precipitation. Autumn sown chickpeas could provide these growers with an alternative crop to wheat, which would provide access to additional markets. An important trait for autumn sown chickpeas is the ability to flower in the spring after enduring cold temperatures throughout the winter and spring. This ability to flower in response to cold temperature is called a ‘vernalization’ response. The objective of this study was to investigate how the vernalization response was inherited in chickpea lines that were produced from crosses between wild, vernalization sensitive chickpeas and cultivated, vernalization insensitive parents. The inheritance of the vernalization response was found to controlled by several genes derived from the wild parent and interactions between these genes and environmental factors. These results demonstrate how complexly vernalization response is inherited in chickpea and the study provides guidance to breeders that are trying to develop autumn sown chickpea varieties.

Technical Abstract: Vernalization insensitivity is a key feature of domesticated chickpea and its genetic basis is not well understood. We studied vernalization response among hybrid progeny derived from two domesticated x wild crosses. The wild parents are vernalization sensitive, late flowering genotypes while both domesticated parents are vernalization insensitive. Parental lines and hybrid progeny were tested with (28 days at 4°C) and without vernalization (control). The difference in mean days to flower ('DTF) between control and vernalization treatments was used to assess the flowering vernalization response. A wide range of 'DTF values was observed among the hybrid progeny. Strong genotype by environment interaction effect on 'DTF was observed for the parental accessions and hybrid progeny. We used the 'DTF values to select vernalization responsive and non-responsive progeny lines. However, the genotype x environment interaction strongly interfered with our selection. Chickpea breeders interested in using the wild progenitor as a donor of exotic traits should be aware of the possibility of introducing vernalization response alleles that may alter the phenology of their breeding materials in an unpredictable manner.