eCite Digital Repository

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


Ortega, R and Hecht, VFG and Freeman, JS and Rubio, J and Carrasquilla-Garcia, N and Mir, RR and Penmetsa, RV and Cook, DR and Millan, T and Weller, JL, Altered expression of an FT cluster underlies a major locus controlling domestication-related changes to chickpea phenology and growth habit, Frontiers in Plant Science, 10 Article 824. ISSN 1664-462X (2019) [Refereed Article]

PDF (Published version)

Copyright Statement

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.

DOI: doi:10.3389/fpls.2019.00824


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.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:chickpea, domestication, florigen, flowering, growth habit, legume, photoperiod, QTL
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Crop and pasture production
Research Field:Crop and pasture biochemistry and physiology
Objective Division:Plant Production and Plant Primary Products
Objective Group:Grains and seeds
Objective Field:Grain legumes
UTAS Author:Ortega, R (Mr Raul Ortega Martinez)
UTAS Author:Hecht, VFG (Dr Valerie Hecht)
UTAS Author:Freeman, JS (Ms Jessica Freeman)
UTAS Author:Weller, JL (Associate Professor Jim Weller)
ID Code:145579
Year Published:2019
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (FT120100048)
Web of Science® Times Cited:24
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2021-07-27
Last Modified:2021-09-02
Downloads:13 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page