Sub-theme 1a - Addressing temperature tolerance during reproductive growth
High and low temperatures during the reproductive phase limit the yield of chickpea. Genotypes displaying putative tolerance (Krishnamurthy et al., 2011) have been identified but not extensively characterised. To understand the physiology and underlying genetic response to temperature extremes, both anther and pollen development (processes most critical to successful pod set) will be assessed in the field under high temperature stress imposed using portable heat chambers (Devasirvatham et al., 2012) and at temperatures <15°C (Croser et al., 2003), considered critical to chickpea development, under controlled conditions. Structural abnormalities in developing reproductive organs will be assessed. These data will be augmented by large-scale dates of sowing experiments that aim to expose chickpea genotypes to reproductive and post-reproductive temperature stress, thus widening the search for critical genetic diversity. This will help to determine which traits can be targeted for genetic improvement and evaluate efficacy of varying dates of sowing in chickpea as a selection strategy. All materials will be genotyped using Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) markers and association genetics used to evaluate the inheritance of the plant response thus providing a basis for more detailed genetic mapping studies and delivery through pre-breeding activities.
The physiological and genetic basis of temperature tolerance in chickpea will be determined and results validated through the development of pilot germplasm combining the relevant genetic variation.