Cicer arietinum L. (chickpea) is the world’s fourth most widely grown pulse. Chickpea seeds are a primary source of dietary protein for humans, and chickpea cultivation contributes to biological nitrogen fixation in the soil, given its symbiotic relationship with rhizobia. Therefore, chickpea cultivation plays a pivotal role in innovative sustainable models of agro-ecosystems inserted in crop rotation in arid and semi-arid environments for soil improvement and the reduction of chemical inputs. Indeed, the arid and semi-arid tropical zones of Africa and Asia have been primary areas of cultivation and diversification. Yet, nowadays, chickpea is gaining prominence in Canada, Australia, and South America where it constitutes a main ingredient in vegetarian and vegan diets. Viruses and plant parasitic nematodes (PPNs) have been considered to be of minor and local impact in primary areas of cultivation. However, the introduction of chickpea in new environments exposes the crop to these biotic stresses, compromising its yields. The adoption of high-throughput genomic technologies, including genome and transcriptome sequencing projects by the chickpea research community, has provided major insights into genome evolution as well as genomic architecture and domestication. This review summarizes the major viruses and PPNs that affect chickpea cultivation worldwide. We also present an overview of the current state of chickpea genomics. Accordingly, we explore the opportunities that genomics, post-genomics and novel editing biotechnologies are offering in order to understand chickpea diseases and stress tolerance and to design innovative control strategies.
Leonetti, P., Accotto, G. P., Hanafy, M. S., & Pantaleo, V. (2018, March 15). Viruses and phytoparasitic nematodes of cicer arietinum L.: Biotechnological approaches in interaction studies and for sustainable control. Frontiers in Plant Science. Frontiers Media S.A. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2018.00319