DAN00196 - Eliminating grain defects in chickpeas

Project Summary

Project Start Date
30 June 2014
Project End Date
30 June 2017
Supervisor Name
Jennifer Wood
Department of Primary Industries, an office of the

Downgrading of harvested chickpeas due to grain defects such as seed markings or pre-harvest sprouting, can cost a grower $50-80 per tonne on receival. Seed markings (commonly termed tiger striping or blotching) are known to occur in a small percentage of desi chickpea varieties under certain environmental conditions. Pre-harvest weathering, leading to sprouted grain, occurs due to rainfall on mature crops prior to harvest and commonly occurs in northern NSW and southern and central QLD. For this reason kabuli chickpeas are not widely grown in those regions.

To date, plant breeders have no information on the genetic characteristics which predispose some chickpea varieties to either seed markings or weathering damage. This lack of knowledge is hampering efforts to breed varieties which are not susceptible to these defects.

This project, led by NSW DPI and involving five other research agencies across four states, will conduct research towards eliminating these two grain defects in chickpea and will examine both desi and kabuli chickpeas in trials conducted across all the major growing regions of northern and southern Australia. In addition, this project will link into existing research projects under the umbrella of Pulse Breeding Australia (PBA).

The major outcomes from the project will be:

  1. A geographical map of incidence indicating the particular environmental conditions under which different susceptible varieties express these defects;
  2. Identification of the nature and critical timing of weather events that lead to these defects;
  3. An improved understanding of plant-related factors such as growth stage, crop architecture and genetic characteristics that favour defect occurrence;
  4. Assessment of the means by which these defects affect product quality for grain processors;
  5. Preliminary identification of tools to mitigate these seed deficiencies including:
    1. agronomic practices that can reduce the risk of defects;
    2. phenotypic traits which can be used as screening tools to select resistant breeding lines;
    3. image analysis techniques for quantification of markings;
    4. identification of contrasting genotypes that could be used to develop future genetic markers for these defects.
Published Date
4 February 2016

← Return to the Project Summaries list