Genotype and environment effects on sensory, nutritional, and physical traits in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.)

Maria J. Cobos, Inmaculada Izquierdo, Miguel A. Sanz, Antonio Tomás, Juan Gil, Fernando Flores, Josefa Rubio


The development of chickpea cultivars with high quality grains for human consumption is an important objective in breeding programs. Genotype and environment effects on seed quality traits (sensorial, nutritional and physical) were studied in chickpea dry grain. Twenty genotypes were grown in winter and spring sowings over two campaigns in four different locations in southern Spain. Significant differences were observed in oil, acid detergent fiber (ADF) and protein content between sowing times (S). In winter, oil and ADF content were higher, while protein content was lower. Although, in general, highly significant variation was detected for genotype (G), environment (E) and single interactions (GE, GS and ES), the genotype effect was stronger for ADF, neutral detergent fiber (NDF), oil, starch and protein content, and for physical and sensory traits (r2>27%). In contrast, environment played an important role in variation in the content of amylose and amylopectin (r2=71.7%). No high relationships were found between the sensory and nutritional or physical characteristics studied. In general, our results suggest a high genetic gain for seed quality in nutritional, physical and sensory traits in chickpea. Genotypes with good seed sensory quality should be selected in the final stages of the breeding program, because it is not feasible to evaluate very large numbers of samples. However, in some cases, moderate correlations were found between sensory and either nutritional or physical traits. Therefore, indirect selection to increase the frequency of genes for sensory traits in an early stage should be considered.


seed quality; sowing time; organoleptic traits; principal component analysis; genotype-environment interaction

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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2016144-8719