Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department / School



Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L), due to its nutritive quality, is one of the most important grain legume crop of the temperate and subtropical regions. Average productivity world-wide is about 710 kg/ha. In central South Dakota, seed production was as high as 2500 kg/ha which is approximately twice the production rate obtained from areas where chickpea is commonly grown. To improve productivity of chickpea at the international level, the crop has been included in the research mandates of the International Crop Research Institutes for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICROSAT), Hyderabad, India; and International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Aleppo, Syria. The objectives of this study were to determine inheritance relationships of isozyme polymorphisms, to compare and contrast allozyme diversity within and among germplasm collections, and to evaluate adaptability of chickpea introductions in South Dakota. Starch gel electrophoretic methods were used to assay chickpea germplasm and breeding lines. Three enzyme systems, acid phosphatase (ACP), esterase (EST) and malate dehydrogenase (MDH), were monomorphic overall collections, and 3 enzyme systems alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase (PGD) and peroxidase (PRX) were polymorphic among the chickpea collections assayed. Inheritance studies of polymorphic enzymes showed simple Mendelian segregation for 4 diallelic enzyme loci including Adhl, Pgd1, Pgd2, and Prxl. A total of 12 genotypes were observed among the four loci including Adhl (4 genotypes), Pgd1 (3 genotypes), Pgd2 (3 genotypes) and Prxl (2 genotypes). Estimation of fixation indicies and theoretical inbreeding coefficients supported the notion that chickpea is a highly self-pollinated crop with less than 1% of outcrossing. This result suggested that the mating system and selection are important factors maintaining genetic variability in chickpea. Genotypic and allelic frequencies demonstrated the presence of appreciable genetic variation in chickpea. Most of the genetic variability was observed in Middle Eastern (Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan); Asian (Indian, Afghanistan, Pakistan, USSR) and East African (Ethiopia) germplasm. The observation of large amounts of genetic variability within closely situated regions suggests that genetic conservation strategies should stress collection of large numbers of populations in each agroecological zone. Field trials demonstrated significant differences within and among five quantitative trials. Correlation and path coefficient estimates showed that seed size is an important character to consider when selecting for increased seed yield. Regression studies indicated that chickpea varieties respond to environmental variation. The results suggested that selection for yield and seed size should be carried out in favorable environments, because of genotype x environment interactions. This work provides information useful for planning efficient sampling strategies, for planning optimum methods of germplasm preservation, and for utilization of existing genetic variability in plant breeding programs.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Chickpea -- Genetics

Chickpea -- South Dakota



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University