Assessment of a segregating population for the improvement of drought tolerance in Bambara groundnut

H.H. Chai, F. Massawe, S. Mayes
Drought stress, one of the major limiting factors to plant growth and crop productivity, is a main agricultural concern hampering worldwide crop yields, especially in water-scarce environments. Bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea L. Verdc.) has long been reported as a drought-tolerant crop, as it can survive and produce higher seed yield than many other legume crops under drought conditions, although a comprehensive set of comparisons between legume species is still needed. Landrace differences in Bambara groundnut in response to drought provide the potential to select and breed high-yielding landraces and/or cultivars under water stress. Here, we explored the mechanisms underlying the response of Bambara groundnut to drought using a segregating population developed from a cross between single plants derived from the landraces 'DipC' and 'Tiga Nicuru'. The effect of mild drought stress on the segregating population was evaluated in controlled-environment glasshouses located at the FutureCrop Glasshouses, Sutton Bonington Campus, in 2012. The parameters for assessment consisted of plant phenology, plant morphology, growth, stomatal conductance and stomatal density. The variation observed among the individual lines could provide candidates that possess high-yielding characteristics and greater tolerance under drought stress for future breeding programmes in Bambara groundnut. In addition, quantitative trait loci (QTLs) were detected for several phenotypic traits across LG1, LG2A, LG2B, LG8B and LG11A on an initial genetic linkage map developed using the same cross.
Chai, H.H., Massawe, F. and Mayes, S. (2016). Assessment of a segregating population for the improvement of drought tolerance in Bambara groundnut. Acta Hortic. 1127, 339-346
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1127.53
'DipC' × 'Tiga Nicuru', drought stress, plant growth, stomatal conductance, stomatal density, QTL mapping, candidate genotypes

Acta Horticulturae