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STMS (sequence tagged microsatellite site) molecular markers as a valuable tool to confirm controlled crosses in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) breeding programs

Caballo, C., Castro, P., Gil, J., Izquierdo, I., Millan, T., Rubio, J.
Euphytica 2018 v.214 no.12 pp. 231
Cicer arietinum, Fusarium wilt, Orobanche, autogamy, blight, breeding programs, chickpeas, diploidy, flowers, genetic markers, hybridization, hybrids, microsatellite repeats, mutants, pistil, plant breeding, pods, progeny, seeds
Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) is an annual, diploid and autogamous grain legume. Most breeding processes developed in this crop start with complementary crosses, but artificial hybridization is a tedious operation probably due to the injury of the pistil caused during emasculation due to the small size of the flowers. The success in pod formation after hybridization together with the possibility of testing the hybrid nature of F₁ is a key point to optimize chickpea breeding. Morphological characters are not always adequate to distinguish between progeny, consequently molecular markers are needed to verify hybrid nature. In this study, we show our experience in crossing programs and the use of molecular markers to test hybridization rate in three different cases (A) obtaining advanced lines combining resistance to blight and fusarium wilt; (B) developing segregating populations for Orobanche foetida and (C) providing suitable materials to do genetic studies involving double pod mutants. A total of 2041 pollinated flowers produced 21.7, 16.8 and 8.7% of pods in each one of the three cases analyzed. Hybridization nature in F₁ seeds was tested with STMS (sequence tagged microsatellite site) markers and ranged from 86 to 91% for the three cases. STMS markers were a valuable tool to detect hybrids, being simple to visualize and having a low cost. The confirmation of hybrid nature at the initial development stages of F₁ plants is critical for reducing time and costs in breeding programs.