ABSTRACT.
Micropropagation and germplasm conservation of four chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) genotypes

Salem S. Alghamdi1, Yaser Hassan Dewir1, 2*, Muhammad Altaf Khan1, Hussein Migdadi1, Ehab H. El-Harty1, Abdulhakim A. Aldubai1, 3, Ahmed A. Al-Aizari1
 
Genetic improvement of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.), a recalcitrant crop, has been largely restricted owing to a lack of efficient regeneration methods. In this study, four chickpea genotypes (Giza 4, Giza 88, Giza 195, and Giza 531) were efficiently micropropagated using embryo axes and synthetic seeds developed using an encapsulation technique. Multiple shoots grew from embryo explants using 2 and 4 mg L-1 benzylaminopurine (BAP). The number of shoots for Giza 195 explants using 4 and 6 mg L-1 BAP were 5.8 and 6.2, respectively. The elongated shoots were transferred to two indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) concentrations (50 and 100 mmol L-1) for root induction. A high rooting percentage (67%-100%) followed by successful acclimatization (70%-75%) was obtained for shoots dipped in 50 mmol L-1 IBA and cultured into an MS liquid medium. Apical buds from in vitro shoots were encapsulated in sodium alginate along with calcium chloride to produce synthetic seeds, which were successfully stored at 4 °C for 5 mo. Giza 195 and Giza 531 were better conserved than Giza 4 and Giza 88, with 70%-75% regrowth and recovery rates. These results confirmed an efficient regeneration protocol and synthetic seed production, which could be utilized for genetic transformations and crop improvement.
Keywords: Embryo, recalcitrant crops, regeneration, rooting, synthetic seeds.
1King Saud University, College of Food and Agriculture Sciences, Plant Production Department, P.O. Box 2460, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia.2Kafrelsheikh University, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Horticulture, Kafr El-Sheikh 33516, Egypt.*Corresponding author (ydewir@hotmail.com; ydewir@ksu.edu.sa). 3Agriculture Research and Extension Authority, Sana’a 87148, Yemen.