Construction of a high-density genetic map and QTL analysis for yield, yield components and agronomic traits in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.)
Unravelling the genetic architecture underlying yield components and agronomic traits is important for enhancing crop productivity. Here, a recombinant inbred line (RIL) population, developed from ICC 4958 and DCP 92–3 cross, was used for constructing linkage map and QTL mapping analysis. The RIL population was genotyped using a high-throughput Axiom®- CicerSNP array, which enabled the development of a high-density genetic map consisting of 3,818 SNP markers and spanning a distance of 1064.14 cM. Analysis of phenotyping data for yield, yield components and agronomic traits measured across three years together with genetic mapping data led to the identification of 10 major-effect QTLs and six minoreffect QTLs explaining up to 59.70% phenotypic variance. The major-effect QTLs identified for 100-seed weight, and plant height possessed key genes, such as C3HC4 RING finger protein, pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR) protein, sugar transporter, leucine zipper protein and NADH dehydrogenase, amongst others. The gene ontology studies highlighted the role of these genes in regulating seed weight and plant height in crop plants. The identified genomic regions for yield, yield components, and agronomic traits, and the closely linked markers will help advance genetics research and breeding programs in chickpea.