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Published in Scientific Papers. Series B, Horticulture, Vol. LXVI, Issue 1
Written by Creola BREZEANU, Petre Marian BREZEANU, Silvica AMBĂRUŞ, Mariana CALARA, Alexandru BUTE, Andreea ANTAL TREMURICI, Dan AVASILOAIEI

Food legumes are crucial for key agriculture-related challenges, such as agrobiodiversity conservation, sustainable agriculture, food security and human health. Comparing to other grain legumes species, chickpea is considered one of the most nutritious for human consumption, having no antinutritional factors except the raffinose-type oligosaccharides, but proven health benefits. One of the major objectives of breeding programs is development of high-yielding, early-maturing cultivars suitable to short cropping season. The current study was developed in frame of national project in ADER program 2019 – 2022 and had as aim the improvement and diversification of chickpea germplasm collection to ensure the optimal use of genetic resources, as a precondition to increase the crop sustainability. The narrow genetic base of cultivated chickpea is one of the major obstacles to sustaining and improving its productivity and renders the crop vulnerable to new biotic and abiotic stresses. In-situ conservation is based on empirical principles and on-farm conservation activities are marginally developed. Seed collections are assembled and are maintained on accession basis, where each accession usually comprises a mixture (population) with an unknown composition of genotypes. This study monitored neutral and functional diversity both at the genetic and phenotypic levels, which means characterizing it, investigating its interactions with the environment in order to define useful functional variation in given environments, establishing a link between variation of phenotypes and ―biomarkers to predict potentiality of accessions for specific breeding goals. Plant genetic resources comprising landraces, obsolete varieties and crop wild relatives were investigated. Performance has been achieved by applying new approaches for germplasm characterization and evaluation like development of core sets, mini-core sets, reference sets and trait-specific subsets, etc. Better utilization and conservation of these accessions raises substantial challenges due to the genetic changes that can be occurring during seed multiplication.

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© 2019 SCIENTIFIC PAPERS. Series B. Horticulture. All Rights Reserved. To be cited: SCIENTIFIC PAPERS. Series B. Horticulture.

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