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Association of flowering time with phenological and productivity traits in chickpea

Mallikarjuna, Bingi Pujari, Viswanatha, Kannalli P., Samineni, Srinivasan, Gaur, Pooran M.
Euphytica 2019 v.215 no.4 pp. 77
Cicer arietinum, biomass, chickpeas, crossing, cultivars, flowering date, genetic background, grain yield, harvest index, phenology, plant breeding, plant height, pods, seeds
Phenology is an important trait for the adaption of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) to various target environments. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of flowering time on other phenological traits and yield-related traits. F₂ and F₃ segregating populations derived from the crosses of four early-flowering lines (ICCV 96029, ICC 5810, BGD 132 and ICC 16641) with a late-flowering cultivar (CDC Frontier) were used. In all crosses, flowering time showed significant positive association with days to pod initiation, days to maturity, plant height and biomass and non-significant correlation with number of pods per plant, number of seeds per plant and grain yield per plant. Flowering time had a positive correlation with 100-seed weight in all crosses, with the exception of ICC 16641 × CDC Frontier where the correlation was non-significant. Harvest index was negatively associated with flowering time. In most of the crosses, early- and late-maturing F₃ bulks showed significant differences with respect to biomass and harvest index, while for grain yield and 100-seed weight the differences were found to be non-significant. These results indicate that flowering time could be used as a reliable selection criterion in breeding for early-maturing chickpea and that a reduction in the duration of flowering time and maturity may not necessarily have a yield penalty in these genetic backgrounds.