Genome-wide association mapping for isolate-specific resistance to Ascochyta rabiei in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.)

Somayeh Farahani, Mojdeh Maleki, Rebecca Ford, Rahim Mehrabi, Homayoun Kanouni, Gert H.J. Kema, Amir Mohammad Naji, Reza Talebi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Ascochyta blight caused by Ascochyta rabiei is one of the most important foliar diseases of chickpea that can lead to significant yield losses worldwide. A genome-wide association study (GWAS) was applied on a panel of 165 chickpea genotypes against A. rabiei isolates belonging to six different pathotypes. Large phenotypic variation in disease reaction was observed, as the frequency of resistance to pathotypes-I and III was comparatively higher than resistance to other pathotypes. Overall, among the all genotype × pathotype interactions, 259 resistance responses were identified and genotypes were grouped into four clusters based on their phenotypic reactions. The chickpea panel genotyped using DArTseq assay was used for genome-wide association mapping (GWAS). The GWAS revealed 30 marker-trait associations (MTAs) representing 17 quantitate trait loci (QTL) across all chickpea chromosomes. Among them, 11 R-QTLs were associated with resistance to specific pathotype, and 6 R-QTLs were associated with resistance to two or more pathotypes. Most of these R-QTLs overlapped with the previously reported R-QTLs for resistance to A. rabiei, whereas identified R-QTLs on chromosomes Ca1, Ca2, Ca6 and Ca7 are most likely novel. Meanwhile, annotation within the R-QTL intervals revealed genes involved in salicylic acid (SA) and jasmonic acid (JA) regulation pathways as well as cell death programming. The known and novel R-QTL identified in this study may be targeted for use in future chickpea breeding programs to recombine different loci to improve the durability of resistance to multiple A. rabiei isolates/pathotypes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101883
JournalPhysiological and Molecular Plant Pathology
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • Ascochyta rabiei
  • Chickpea
  • GWAS
  • Pathotype
  • Resistance


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