Coming Soon To A Farm Near You – Genetically *Improved* Chickpeas

Apparently, no species on earth is safe from those who genetically modify and *improve* everything…

Chicksanto Peas coming soon? DuChick Peas, maybe?

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(GenomeWeb News) – “Members of an international consortium have sequenced a draft version of the chickpea genome, making chickpea, or Cicer arietinum, the third crop legume plant to have its genome unraveled and published so far.

The India, China, and US-led team used whole-genome shotgun sequencing to tackle the nearly 740 million base pair genome of a kabulichickpea variety. The group also re-sequenced and/or genotyped dozens more cultivated and wild chickpea accessions for the study, which appeared online this week in Nature Biotechnology — data that’s helping researchers understand the genetic diversity present within chickpea and its relationship to chickpea traits of interest.

“Combined with knowledge of germplasm diversity and candidate gene regions, the analyses … should accelerate future breeding of elite cultivars,” first author Rajeev Varshney, with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, and co-authors wrote.

“This will eventually move us closer to the goal of improving the livelihood and productivity of chickpea farmers worldwide,” they added, with particular emphasis on the resource-poor, marginal environments of sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia…The sequencing of the chickpea provides genetic information that will help plant breeders develop highly productive chickpea varieties that can better tolerate drought and resist disease — traits that are particularly important in light of the threat of global climate change,” University of California at Davis plant pathology researcher Douglas Cook, a co-corresponding author on the study, said in a statement…”