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Cook, K. L.
University of California - Davis
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Legume crops are a cornerstone of agricultural sustainability, yet in the US, with the exception of soybean, their production is not commensurate with their value. Chickpea in particular is among the world's most widely grown pulse legumes. Over the past decade, production in the US has increased markedly, though there are significant opportunities to increase production further. Achieving this goal will require improved agronomic properties, including genetic capacities to tolerate biotic and abiotic stress, and more sustainable use of inputs such as nitrogen and water.Under previous AES projects my program has developed improved genetic and genomic tools for chickpea research and breeding, and we have established large inbred populations that access the expanded diversity of chickpea's wild relatives, effectively expanding the genetic capacity of the crop by 40-fold. This AES project will continue those prior efforts, by improving genomic resources, exploring traits for tolerance to biotic and abiotic stress, and developing more detailed knowledge of nitrogen fixation as a means to improve the crop's sustainability.Specific objectives include:1. Determine the genetic basis of increased nitrogen fixation efficiency and strain selectivity in chickpea's wild relatives.2. Identify and characterize traits for plant performance under acid soil conditions.3. Characterize chickpea's interactions with pests and pathogens, including analysis of pathogen and pest genomes and populations dynamics: Fusarium wilt, Phytophthora root rot, Ascochyta blight and pod borer (Helicoverpa spp).4. Continue to improve genetic and genomic resources for chickpea research and breeding.
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Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
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