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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pullman, Washington » Grain Legume Genetics Physiology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #383002

Research Project: Improving Genetic Resources and Disease Management for Cool Season Food Legumes

Location: Grain Legume Genetics Physiology Research

Title: Essential fatty acids as a target nutritional trait for chickpea (Cicer arietinum) biofortification

item UDAYANGA, AMOD - Clemson University
item TANG, LEUNG - Agilent Technologies, Inc
item THAVARAJAH, PUSHPARAJAH - Clemson University
item BRIDGES, WILLIAM - Clemson University
item SHIPE, EMERSON - Clemson University
item Vandemark, George
item THAVARAJAH, DIL - Clemson University

Submitted to: Frontiers in Plant Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/13/2021
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Chickpea is the second most important pulse crop after dry bean in terms of global production. In the U.S.A., chickpeas are integral components of dryland agriculture systems throughout the Pacific Northwest and Northern Plains. They are grown as rotation crops in wheat and barley production systems, where they contribute residual nitrogen through their symbiotic association with nitrogen-fixing rhizobacteria. Chickpea has been an important component of human and animal diets for thousands of years, as it is a rich source of protein, carbohydrates, several essential minerals, vitamins, and fats. Fats, which provide the storage energy required for seed germination, constitute a relatively small proportion of the chickpea seed. However, chickpea seeds contain several essential fatty acids, including linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid, which are vital for human health and reduce the risks of several diseases including cardiovascular disease, inflammation, and cancer. Consequently, chickpea consumption can benefit human health by providing important fatty acids. This report examines global chickpea production, fatty acid profiles of different chickpea market classes, the benefits these fatty acids contribute to human health, and breeding targets for increasing concentrations of essential fatty acids in chickpea to improve global nutrition.

Technical Abstract: This paper exmines global chickpea production, plant lipids, the functions, benefits to human health, and chemical analysis of essential fatty acids, and possible breeding targets to enrich essential fatty acids in chickpea (Cicer arietinum) biofortification. Chickpea is a highly nutritious pulse crop with low digestible carbohydrates ('60%), protein ('20%), essential fats (4-8%), and a range of minerals and vitamins. Chickpea is popular in Mediterranean cuisine in hummus, soups, and salads. The fatty acid composition of the seeds add value to chickpea-based food products because fats govern the texture, shelf-life, flavor, aroma, and nutritional composition of food products. Therefore, the biofortification of essential fatty acids has become a nutritional breeding target for chickpea crop improvement programs worldwide. Biofortification of essential fatty acids within safe levels will improve human health and support food processing to retain the food quality and flavor of chickpea-based food products. Essential fatty acid biofortification is possible by phenotyping diverse chickpea germplasm with suitable locations and years and by identifying the candidate genes responsible for quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping using genome-wide association mapping (GWAS).