Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 126, Issue 6, pp 1639–1647 | Cite as

Fast track genetic improvement of ascochyta blight resistance and double podding in chickpea by marker-assisted backcrossing

  • B. Taran
  • T. D. Warkentin
  • A. Vandenberg
Original Paper


Ascochyta blight (AB) caused by the fungus Ascochyta rabiei Pass. Lab. is one of the major diseases of chickpea worldwide and a constraint to production in western Canada. The use of varieties with high levels of resistance is considered the most economical solution for long-term ascochyta blight management in chickpea. QTL for resistance to ascochyta blight have been identified in chickpea. The availability of molecular markers associated with QTL for ascochyta blight resistant and double podding provides an opportunity to apply marker-assisted backcrossing to introgress the traits into adapted chickpea cultivars. In the present study, molecular markers that were linked to the QTL for ascochyta blight resistance and the double podding trait, and those unlinked to the resistance were used in foreground and background selection, respectively, in backcrosses between moderately resistant donors (CDC Frontier and CDC 425-14) and the adapted varieties (CDC Xena, CDC Leader and FLIP98-135C). The strategy included two backcrosses and selection for two QTL for ascochyta blight resistance and a locus associated with double podding. The fixation of the elite genetic background was monitored with 16–22 SSR markers to accelerate restoration of the genetic background at each backcross. By the BC2F1 generation, plants with improved ascochyta blight resistance and double podding were identified. The selected plants possessed the majority of elite parental type SSR alleles on all fragments analyzed except the segment of LG 4, LG 6 and LG 8 that possessed the target QTL. The results showed that the adapted variety could be efficiently converted into a variety with improved resistance in two backcross generations.


Cetyl Trimethyl Ammonium Bromide Ascochyta Blight Background Selection Recipient Parent Elite Parent 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank Parvaneh Hashemi and Carmen Breitkreutz for their technical assistance. Financial support from the Agricultural Development Fund of the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Crop Development CenterUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada

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