Australasian Plant Pathology

, 40:601 | Cite as

Hybridisation of Australian chickpea cultivars with wild Cicer spp. increases resistance to root-lesion nematodes (Pratylenchus thornei and P. neglectus)

  • John P. ThompsonEmail author
  • Roslyn A. Reen
  • Timothy G. Clewett
  • Jason G. Sheedy
  • Alison M. Kelly
  • Beverley J. Gogel
  • Edward J. Knights


Australian and international chickpea (Cicer arietinum) cultivars and germplasm accessions, and wild annual Cicer spp. in the primary and secondary gene pools, were assessed in glasshouse experiments for levels of resistance to the root-lesion nematodes Pratylenchus thornei and P. neglectus. Lines were grown in replicated experiments in pasteurised soil inoculated with a pure culture of either P. thornei or P. neglectus and the population density of the nematodes in the soil plus roots after 16 weeks growth was used as a measure of resistance. Combined statistical analyses of experiments (nine for P. thornei and four for P. neglectus) were conducted and genotypes were assessed using best linear unbiased predictions. Australian and international chickpea cultivars possessed a similar range of susceptibilities through to partial resistance. Wild relatives from both the primary (C. reticulatum and C. echinospermum) and secondary (C. bijugum) gene pools of chickpea were generally more resistant than commercial chickpea cultivars to either P. thornei or P. neglectus or both. Wild relatives of chickpea have probably evolved to have resistance to endemic root-lesion nematodes whereas modern chickpea cultivars constitute a narrower gene pool with respect to nematode resistance. Resistant accessions of C. reticulatum and C. echinospermum were crossed and topcrossed with desi chickpea cultivars and resistant F4 lines were obtained. Development of commercial cultivars with the high levels of resistance to P. thornei and P. neglectus in these hybrids will be most valuable for areas of the Australian grain region and other parts of the world where alternating chickpea and wheat crops are the preferred rotation.


Cicer reticulatum Cicer echninospermum Cicer bijugum desi kabuli 



This work was financially supported by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) as part of the Australian Co-ordinated Chickpea Improvement Program (ACCIP). The following members of ACCIP kindly provided chickpea seed and/or comment on results: R. Brinsmead, M. English, J. Brouwer, C. Pittock, K. Hobson, T. Khan, W. Hawthorne, K. Siddique and T. Bretag. We also thank A. McIntyre, former Curator of the Australian Temperate Field Crops Collection, Horsham, Vic., for provision of seed of wild relatives of chickpea, and V. Vanstone for the culture of P. neglectus.

Supplementary material

13313_2011_89_MOESM1_ESM.docx (148 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 147 kb)


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Copyright information

© Australasian Plant Pathology Society Inc. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • John P. Thompson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Roslyn A. Reen
    • 1
  • Timothy G. Clewett
    • 1
  • Jason G. Sheedy
    • 1
  • Alison M. Kelly
    • 1
  • Beverley J. Gogel
    • 2
    • 3
  • Edward J. Knights
    • 4
  1. 1.Agri-Science Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and InnovationLeslie Research CentreToowoombaAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Employment, Economic Development and InnovationAnimal Research InstituteYeerongpillyAustralia
  3. 3.School of Agriculture Food and WineThe University of AdelaideUrrbraeAustralia
  4. 4.NSW Industry & InvestmentTamworth Agricultural InstituteCalalaAustralia

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