Genetic control of seed weight and calcium concentration in chickpea seed

S. Abbo*, M. A. Grusak, T. Tzuk, R. Reifen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Chickpea, Cicer arietinum L., is a staple protein source in many Asian and Middle Eastern countries. Hence, the mineral content of its seed, especially that of calcium, is of nutritional importance. Calcium is transported through plants and to legume pods almost exclusively via the xylem stream, with Ca accretion in developing seeds resulting primarily from diffusion of Ca from the adjoining pod wall. Thus, for seeds of differing surface-to-mass ratios, Ca concentration is expected to correlate inversely with seed weight. The relationship between seed weight and Ca concentration in chickpea seeds was studied using a range of germplasm and derivatives from crosses between types differing in seed Ca concentration. Among the cultivars tested, low seed mass was associated with high Ca concentration. However, the study of hybrid progeny indicated that seed Ca content was mainly determined by genetic factors other than grain weight genes. This finding may assist in future breeding of high nutritional quality chickpea cultivars.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)427-431
Number of pages5
JournalPlant Breeding
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2000


  • Calcium concentration
  • Cicer arietinum
  • Seed weight


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