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Genetic analysis reveals PDH1 as a candidate gene for control of pod dehiscence in chickpea


Pod dehiscence is a key trait in legumes due to its relevance for seed dispersal and yield losses. Although transcriptional networks controlling dehiscence have been well explored in cereal crops and models, such as Arabidopsis, our knowledge on molecular control of the trait in legumes is relatively limited. In chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.), the identification of major and minor genes controlling pod dehiscence is very important when wild genotypes are used to introgress germplasm in cultivated ones. In this study, we characterized phenotypically a RIL population from an interspecific cross and used a candidate gene approach to identify orthologous to dehiscence-related genes. The segregation pattern in the RIL population suggests that the trait is under oligogenic control. Through genome mapping and sequencing, we developed DNA markers and identified the PDH1 gene as an important regulator of pod shattering in chickpea. Our results may help the exploitation of wild germplasm resources in chickpea breeding programs and shed light on the relationships between the molecular and phenotypic variations in this important legume species.

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Authors thank the assistance provided by Jaqueline Ghysbrecht Ríos on phenotypic data collection.


This work has been supported by INIA Project RTA2017-00041 (co-financed by the European Union through the ERDF2014–2020 “Programa Operativo de Crecimiento Inteligente”) and PP.AVA.AVA2019.030. DAB has his Ph.D. fellowship INIA-CCAA. JVD and PC are supported by the “Plan Propio de Investigación de la Universidad de Córdoba” and the EU “Programa Operativo de fondos FEDER Andalucía.”

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Conceptualization: TM and JG; Methodology: DAB, JR; Formal analysis and investigation: DAB, JVD, PC; Writing - original draft preparation: DAB, JVD, PC; Writing - review and editing: JG, JVD, PC; Funding acquisition: TM and JR; Supervision: JVD and PC.

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Correspondence to Jose V. Die.

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Aguilar-Benitez, D., Rubio, J., Millán, T. et al. Genetic analysis reveals PDH1 as a candidate gene for control of pod dehiscence in chickpea. Mol Breeding 40, 40 (2020).

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  • Chickpea
  • Candidate genes
  • Fissured pods
  • Pod dehiscence
  • PDH1