Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Genetic Variation for Seed Mineral and Protein Concentration in Diverse Germplasm of Chickpea.

Michael A. Grusak, USDA-ARS-SPA-CNRC, 1100 Bates St., Houston, TX 77030-2600 and Clarice J. Coyne, USDA-ARS-W.Regional Plt.Intro.Sta., 59 Johnson Hall, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6402.

Chickpea (<i>Cicer arietinum</i>) is an important food legume that can provide significant amounts of dietary minerals and protein to humans. In order to better understand the genetic diversity that exists for these nutrients, we have assessed seed mineral concentration and seed protein concentration in 250 accessions of the Chickpea Core Collection that is maintained by USDA. Plants of each accession were grown to maturity in a greenhouse using a soil mix and daily irrigation with a complete nutrient solution. This “luxury consumption” of nutrients was designed to focus on the genetic potential of each accession to acquire and mobilize minerals to their seeds. At maturity, all seeds collected from six plants per accession were combined, dried at 70 C, and finely ground to homogenize the bulk sample. Two sub-samples of each accession were processed for mineral analysis using ICP-OES or total nitrogen analysis (proxy for protein) using a Kjeldahl procedure. Seed mineral concentrations ranged from 1.5-fold to 3.3-fold for macronutrient minerals (Ca, Mg, K, P) and from 2.2-fold to 6.4-fold for micronutrient minerals (Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu). Protein concentrations ranged from 10.8 to 21.0 %. Data for individual accessions have been entered into the USDA-ARS Germplasm Resource Information Network (GRIN) database (, where the information can be accessed by breeders and other research scientists. This work was funded, in part, through a grant from the USDA-ARS Cool Season Food Legume Crop Germplasm Committee to MAG and through funds from USDA-ARS under Agreements No. 58-6250-6-001 (MAG) and 58-6250-6-001 (CC).