Chickpea seed testing

Author: Tom Dixon | Date: 03 Feb 2015

Chickpea grain defects can cost a grower $50 to $80 per tonne, and knowing which varieties are susceptible to these defects, and what environmental conditions encourage these defects, is key knowledge to combat them.

GRDC and the New South Wales (NSW) Department of Primary Industries (DPI) launched research to mitigate the impact of chickpea grain defects and diseases in the north. Growers across Queensland and NSW are being asked to forward samples of their chickpea seed for no-cost* testing.

Dr Jennifer Wood and Dr Kevin Moore from NSW DPI are mapping the incidence of defects and disease against weather data across Australia, to determine underlying causes and genetic susceptibility. The work will help select more robust varieties for the future and reduce the impact of seed borne diseases.

Key points

  • Researchers are offering chickpea growers no-cost testing of their seed.
  • Researchers want chickpea seed samples of any condition: clean, visibly diseased, marked or weathered.
  • The two main defects of concern are seed markings (particularly ‘tiger stripe’ or dark blotch marks), and weather damaged seed (light weight, brittle seeds or sprouting).
  • Samples will be tested for germination, emergence, seed borne diseases and moulds, and results will be sent back to the grower.
  • Growers are asked to send a sample of 500g of harvested grain, secured in two plastic bags (double bagged).
  • Samples collected will determine the percentage of seed affected in each sample. Geographical maps of incidence for each variety and defect will then be constructed to help the breeding effort.

Researchers hope that this improved understanding will allow them to increase tolerance in new varieties, so that defects occur much less frequently and with less severity.

Further information

Please download the information sheet providing instructions on how to supply samples, available on this page.  

*Growers should note that the no-cost testing service does not include a certificate of germination (as would be supplied by a commercial company).


Dr Jennifer Wood

Chemist (Pulse Quality), NSW Department of Primary Industries, Tamworth Agricultural Institute, Phone: 02 6763 1157


GRDC Project Code DAN00176

Region North