W378 The MAGIC of New Tools to Mine Genetic Resources: The Story of Chickpea

Date: Sunday, January 15, 2012
Time: 1:45 PM
Room: Towne
Rajeev Kumar Varshney , ICRISAT/GCP, Hyderabd, India
Global climate change is expected to increase the problems of food security, hunger and malnutrition for millions of people especially in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa and also further aggravates the current trends in land degradation, especially in the semi-arid tropical regions.  The crops like chickpea (Cicerarietinum L.) that are grown as low input crops under receding soil moisture status with minimum management. The crop productivity of such crops, which is already as low as <1 ton/ ha, is likely to be seriously affected in future in context of climate change. With an objective of developing climate resilient chickpea varieties, a variety of genomic tools and genetic resources have been assembled. For instance, utilization of next generation sequencing and high-throughput genotyping technologies have allowed development of genetic maps, identification of markers and candidate genes associated with drought tolerance traits, that are prime targets for tackling the adverse effect of climate change. By deploying marker-assisted back crossing (MABC) approach, the first set of molecular breeding products with higher root biomass have been developed. In parallel, a reference set of 300 accessions representing diversity of global  germplasm collection has been developed to mine superior alleles for candidate genes as well identify the tolerant lines under drought, heat and salinity stress environments. Efforts have also been initiated to develop multi-parent advanced inter-generation cross (MAGIC) populations by deploying eight elite chickpea varieties to enhance and utilize natural variation using advanced genomic tools for developing the superior germplasmthat can cope climate change.