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Nitrogen fixation potential in global chickpea mini-core collection

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Biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) is a sustainable alternative for nitrogen supply to agriculture worldwide. One approach to increasing BNF in agriculture is to breed and use legumes with greater BNF capacity. To assess the capacity for BNF in chickpea (Cicer arietinum) global germplasm, a genetically diverse subset from the USDA global chickpea core collection was assayed for BNF potential. The greenhouse experiment assayed 39 global accessions and commercial cultivar UC-5, inoculated with Mesorhizobium ciceri. Plant height, branch number, nodule number, shoot weight, root weight, nodule weight, proportion of nitrogen fixed, and total nitrogen fixation were determined. All characteristics varied significantly among the accessions. Proportion of plant nitrogen fixed ranged from 47% to 78% and was correlated with shoot weight (r = 0.21, P < 0.01) and total plant weight (r = 0.20, P < 0.01), but not with nodule number or weight. Accession 254549 from Iraq produced the greatest total fixed nitrogen, more than any other accession and 121% more than that fixed by UC-5. The variation among BNF capacities of the accessions supports the preservation and use of global germplasm resources and suggests that nitrogen fixation in commercial chickpea varieties may be improved by introgressing positive alleles from the global chickpea germplasm collections.
Biabani, Abbas , Carpenter-Boggs, Lynne , Coyne, Clarice J. , Taylor, Lisa , Smith, Jeffrey L. , Higgins, Stewart
Cicer arietinum , legumes , greenhouse experimentation , germplasm , germplasm conservation , nitrogen fixation , genetic variation , phenotype , plant breeding , genetic improvement , shoots , roots , weight , height , correlation , root nodules , Mesorhizobium ciceri
p. 679-685.
Includes references
Biology and fertility of soils 2011 Aug., v. 47, no. 6
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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