BREAD: Overcoming the Domestication Bottleneck for Symbiotic Nitrogen Fixation in Legumes

Published on 4 December 2011

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Start Date: 1 April 2010 | End Date: 31 March 2013


 The basic research goal of the proposed work is to identify plant genotypes and ultimately the underlying genes that regulate the efficiency of symbiotic nitrogen fixation under field conditions, and to determine the extent to which domestication and intensive breeding have reduced nitrogen fixation efficiency. The outcome of these studies will contribute an important new dimension to current worldwide efforts to deduce the molecular mechanisms of symbiotic development and function. At the same time, understanding the molecular mechanisms that regulate nitrogen fixation efficiency is of direct relevance to crop improvement efforts in the developing world, where legumes with improved nitrogen fixation efficiency would have a large and direct impact on resource poor farmers.

The objectives of this research are to: 

1. To elucidate the molecular genetic basis of phenotypic variation for symbiotic nitrogen fixation efficiency in Cicer spp, including C. ariteinum (cultivated chickpea) and C. reticulatum (the wild progenitor).

2. To quantify the impact of domestication on symbiotic nitrogen fixation in chickpea.

3. To initiate purpose-driven populations and association genetics to examine genetic potential for efficient nitrogen fixation in elite genotypes of chickpea.


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