Fast track genetic improvement of ascochyta blight resistance and double podding in chickpea by marker-assisted backcrossing

Title 
Fast track genetic improvement of ascochyta blight resistance and double podding in chickpea by marker-assisted backcrossing 
Publication Type 
Journal Article 
Authors 
Taran B, Warkentin TD, Vandenberg A 
Year of Publication 
2013 
Volume 
126 
Journal 
Theoretical and Applied Genetics 
Issue 
Pagination 
1639 - 1647 
Date Published 
6/2013 
ISSN 
1432-2242 
Keywords 
AB, Ascochyta blight, Ascochyta rabiei, CDC 425-14, CDC Frontier, CDC Leader, CDC Xena, Chickpea, double podding, FLIP98-135C, MABC, marker-assisted backcrossing 
URL 
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00122-013-2080-2 
DOI 
10.1007/s00122-013-2080-2 
Abstract 

Ascochyta blight (AB) caused by the fungus Ascochyta rabiei Pass. Lab. is one of the major diseases of chickpea worldwide and a constraint to production in western Canada. The use of varieties with high levels of resistance is considered the most economical solution for long-term ascochyta blight management in chickpea. QTL for resistance to ascochyta blight have been identified in chickpea. The availability of molecular markers associated with QTL for ascochyta blight resistant and double podding provides an opportunity to apply marker-assisted backcrossing to introgress the traits into adapted chickpea cultivars. In the present study, molecular markers that were linked to the QTL for ascochyta blight resistance and the double podding trait, and those unlinked to the resistance were used in foreground and background selection, respectively, in backcrosses between moderately resistant donors (CDC Frontier and CDC 425-14) and the adapted varieties (CDC Xena, CDC Leader and FLIP98-135C). The strategy included two backcrosses and selection for two QTL for ascochyta blight resistance and a locus associated with double podding. The fixation of the elite genetic background was monitored with 16–22 SSR markers to accelerate restoration of the genetic background at each backcross. By the BC2F1 generation, plants with improved ascochyta blight resistance and double podding were identified. The selected plants possessed the majority of elite parental type SSR alleles on all fragments analyzed except the segment of LG 4, LG 6 and LG 8 that possessed the target QTL. The results showed that the adapted variety could be efficiently converted into a variety with improved resistance in two backcross generations.

 
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