Genetics and Characterization of an Open Flower Mutant in Chickpea

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The chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) is a self-pollinated grain legume with cleistogamous flowers. A spontaneous open-flower mutant, designated OFM-3, was identified in which reproductive organs were not enclosed by the keel petals and thus remained exposed. All 10 stamens in this mutant were free, whereas these are in diadelphous (9 fused + 1 free) condition in normal chickpea flowers. A large number of pods (73%) remained unfilled (empty) in OFM-3, though its pollen fertility was as high as the standard cultivars. The open-flower trait was found to be recessive and controlled by a single gene. OFM-3 was crossed with earlier reported open-flower mutants, ICC 16341 and ICC 16129, to establish trait relationships of genes controlling open flower traits in these mutants. It was found that each of these mutants has a unique gene for open flower trait. The genes controlling open flower trait in ICC 16341, ICC 16129, and OFM-3 were designated ofl-1, ofl-2, and ofl-3, respectively. Breeding lines with open flower trait and higher percentage of filled pods have been developed from the progenies of the crosses of OFM-3 with normal-flowered lines. The open flower trait offers opportunity for exploring hybrid technology in the chickpea.

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