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Genetic control of seed weight and calcium concentration in chickpea seed

Prof. R. Reifen, Dr. Shimrit Bar-El, M. A. Grusak, T. Tzuk | 4/10/02

Publication of a research conducted by Prof. R. Reifen, Dr. Shimrit Bar-El, M. A. Grusak, T. Tzuk



Chickpea, Cicer arietinum L., is a staple protein source in many Asian and Middle Eastern countries. Hence, the mineral content of its seed,

especially that of calcium, is of nutritional importance. Calcium is transported through plants and to legume pods almost exclusively via

the xylem stream, with Ca accretion in developing seeds resulting primarily from di.usion of Ca from the adjoining pod wall. Thus, for

seeds of di.ering surface-to-mass ratios, Ca concentration is expected to correlate inversely with seed weight. The relationship between seed

weight and Ca concentration in chickpea seeds was studied using a range of germplasm and derivatives from crosses between types

ing in seed Ca concentration. Among the cultivars tested, low seed mass was associated with high Ca concentration. However, the study of

hybrid progeny indicated that seed Ca content was mainly determined by genetic factors other than grain weight genes. This ®nding may assist in future breeding of high nutritional quality chickpea cultivars.