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Molecular basis underlying the QTL responsible for the genetic control of flowering time in chickpea: an integrative approach. (FORCE)

Our ability to feed the world with innovative products depends on new breeding methods and technologies that will require well-trained plant breeders who understand fieldwork, skilled scientist who understand the genetic basis of the traits to improve and data scientist to help geneticist and breeders to make more informed material selections. Flowering time is the major domestication trait defining the adaptation of chickpea to different agroclimatic conditions, and therefore is a major determinant of its productivity. Understanding how individual genetic variants combine to provide adaptation in specific situations is fundamental to accelerating introgression of new traits into adapted backgrounds. Today a number of genomic resources developed in the past for model plant systems are available for agronomically important crops. In FLOWERING CHICKPEA we will dissect the molecular basis controlling flowering time.

Adopting an integrative approach will open new prospects for the biological understanding of flowering time adaptation. A major objective proposed in FORCE (FlOweRing ChickpEa) is to (i) identify the molecular basis underlying the QTL responsible for the genetic control of flowering time in chickpea. By the end of the project, if we understand and learn the allelic variation of the gene network controlling flowering time, we will be able to (ii) obtain molecular tags for early/late flowering that will ultimately be used by the breeding programs to develop adapted cultivars to their specific environments.

This will allow us the construction of high- density integrated physical and genetic linkage maps, and eventually the assessment of colocalization between flowering time loci/QTL and flowering time genes. Results will be an important resource for geneticists currently investigating legume phenology around the globe. Moreover, the project could have useful applications in agriculture.


Universidad de Córdoba

The specific objectives of the project involve:
a) characterizing a comprehensive inventory of genes controlling flowering time.
b) constructing the highest-density genetic map available using large-scale mapping populations through a novel genotyping by sequencing strategy.
c) addressing differential expression profiles for the candidate genes.

D1.1: Personal Career Development Plan.
D2.1: Review article on legumes flowering time.
D3.1 and D4.1: Research articles reporting FORCE results.

FORCE is relevant to the Horizon 2020 Programme of the EU under the specific challenge Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry research (Work Programme 2018-2020). FORCE is also linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals "Goal 2: Zero Hunger" and "Goal 5: Gender Equality". Moreover, the Project enhance the future career prospects of the researcher after the fellowship in 3 impacts:

- to improve of professional profile by increase of scientific skills, 

- to establish a collaboration network beyond the host institution and provide international visibility and strength of network capacity.

- to increase of European R&I visibility.




Mejora genética vegetal

Code PAIDI: AGR-114

Juan Gil Ligero . Coordinator. 

Universidad de Córdoba

Budget of Andalusian group: € 160,932.48

Keywords: chickpea, plant breeding
Duration: 24 months. October, 1th 2019 to September, 30th 2021
Project cost: € 160,932.48