Leaf type is not associated with ascochyta blight disease in chickpea (cicer arietinum L.)


The three major leaf types in chickpea are normal compound leaf, simple leaf and multipinnate. Simple leaf types are less commonly cultivated worldwide and are often reputed to be susceptible to ascochyta blight disease, whereas other leaf types range from resistant to susceptible. This study determined the association between host plant resistance to ascochyta blight and different leaf types in segregating populations derived from crosses between disease resistant and susceptible chickpea genotypes. In addition, the inheritance of disease resistance and leaf type was investigated in intraspecific progeny derived from crosses between two resistant genotypes with normal leaf type (ICC 3996 and Almaz), one susceptible simple leaf type (Kimberley Large) and one susceptible multipinnate leaf type (24 B-Isoline). Our results showed that, in these segregating populations, susceptibility to ascochyta blight was not linked to multipinnate or simple leaf types; resistance to ascochyta blight depended more on genetic background than leaf shape; leaf type was controlled by two genes with a dihybrid supplementary gene action; normal leaf type was dominant over other leaf types; and inheritance of ascochyta blight resistance was controlled by two major genes, one dominant and one recessive. Since there was no linkage between ascochyta blight susceptibility and leaf type, breeding various leaf types with ascochyta blight resistance is a clear possibility. These results have significant implications for chickpea improvement, as most current extra large seeded kabuli varieties have a simple leaf type.



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