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Article: Screening pearl millet germplasm for tolerance to soil salinity

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    • "The total biomass or shoot biomass is hereafter referred as biomass for brevity. Also the ratio between the biomass produced under salinity to that of control was used to assess salt tolerance (Krishnamurthy et al. 2003a, 2003b). "
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    ABSTRACT: This article reports the results of two experiments carried out to standardize a protocol for the screening of salt-tolerant groundnut genotypes. The objectives were: (i) to identify an optimum NaCl treatment; (ii) to explore the potential tolerance mechanisms; and (iii) to assess the genotypic variation for salinity tolerance in groundnut. Results showed that 100-125 mM of NaCl was suitable to screen for salinity tolerance in groundnut. The material screened in this study was very limited by large differences could be observed for response to salinity, indicating a good scope for identifying genotypes with higher level of tolerance from larger screening of diverse sets of materials. Reduction in leaf size and stem/leaf ratio was observed in response to salinity. This indicates arrest of leaf expansions, which eventually limits the area available for photosynthesis. Further research is needed to determine the mechanisms of salinity tolerance in groundnut.
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    ABSTRACT: Chickpea is a cool season grain legume of exceptionally high nutritive value and most versatile food use. It is mostly grown under rain fed conditions in arid and semi-arid areas around the world. Despite growing demand and high yield potential, chickpea yield is unstable and productivity is stagnant at unacceptably low levels. Major yield increases could be achieved by development and use of cultivars that resist/tolerate abiotic and biotic stresses. In recent years the wide use of early maturing cultivars that escape drought stress led to significant increases in chickpea productivity. In the Mediterranean region, yield could be increased by shifting the sowing date from spring to winter. However, this is hampered by the sensitivity of the crop to low temperatures and the fungal pathogen Ascochyta rabiei. Drought, pod borer (Helicoverpa spp.) and the fungus Fusarium oxysporum additionally reduce harvests there and in other parts of the world. Tolerance to rising salinity will be a future advantage in many regions. Therefore, chickpea breeding focuses on increasing yield by pyramiding genes for resistance/tolerance to the fungi, to pod borer, salinity, cold and drought into elite germplasm. Progress in breeding necessitates a better understanding of the genetics underlying these traits. Marker-assisted selection (MAS) would allow a better targeting of the desired genes. Genetic mapping in chickpea, for a long time hampered by the little variability in chickpea’s genome, is today facilitated by highly polymorphic, co-dominant microsatellite-based markers. Their application for the genetic mapping of traits led to inter-laboratory comparable maps. This paper reviews the current situation of chickpea genome mapping, tagging of genes for ascochyta blight, fusarium wilt resistance and other traits, and requirements for MAS. Conventional breeding strategies to tolerate/avoid drought and chilling effects at flowering time, essential for changing from spring to winter sowing, are described. Recent approaches and future prospects for functional genomics of chickpea are discussed.
    Euphytica 01/2006; 147(1):81-103. DOI:10.1007/s10681-006-4261-4 · 1.69 Impact Factor
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