University Of Tasmania
145579 - Altered expression of an FT cluster underlies a major locus controlling domestication-related changes to chickpea phenology and growth habit.pdf (4.59 MB)

Altered expression of an FT cluster underlies a major locus controlling domestication-related changes to chickpea phenology and growth habit

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posted on 2023-05-21, 01:10 authored by Raul Ortega MartinezRaul Ortega Martinez, Valerie HechtValerie Hecht, Freeman, JS, Rubio, J, Carrasquilla-Garcia, N, Mir, RR, Penmetsa, RV, Cook, DR, Millan, T, James WellerJames Weller
Flowering time is a key trait in breeding and crop evolution, due to its importance for adaptation to different environments and for yield. In the particular case of chickpea, selection for early phenology was essential for the successful transition of this species from a winter to a summer crop. Here, we used genetic and expression analyses in two different inbred populations to examine the genetic control of domestication-related differences in flowering time and growth habit between domesticated chickpea and its wild progenitor Cicer reticulatum. A single major quantitative trait locus for flowering time under short-day conditions [Days To Flower (DTF)3A] was mapped to a 59-gene interval on chromosome three containing a cluster of three FT genes, which collectively showed upregulated expression in domesticated relative to wild parent lines. An equally strong association with growth habit suggests a pleiotropic effect of the region on both traits. These results indicate the likely molecular explanation for the characteristic early flowering of domesticated chickpea, and the previously described growth habit locus Hg. More generally, they point to de-repression of this specific gene cluster as a conserved mechanism for achieving adaptive early phenology in temperate legumes.


Australian Research Council


Publication title

Frontiers in Plant Science



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School of Natural Sciences


Frontiers Research Foundation

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Copyright © 2019 Ortega, Hecht, Freeman, Rubio, Carrasquilla-Garcia, Mir, Penmetsa, Cook, Millan and Weller. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0 License ( The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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Socio-economic Objectives

Grain legumes