Chickpea, Cicer arietinum L., serve as one of the important source of nutrients in vegetarian diets especially in developing countries as it is one of the richest source of proteins (20-30%), carbohydrates (~40% ) and minerals (Jukanti et al. 2012,). However, its productivity is severely affected by various abiotic stresses such as drought, heat, salinity etc ( Ruelland et al. 2002). Among these, terminal drought is one of the serious problems in chickpea as it is largely cultivated on residual soil moisture in the arid and semi-arid regions of South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. For e.g., about 40-50% annual yield loss has been reported due to this abiotic stress in chickpea (Ahmad et al. 2005,). This problem will further become more prevalent due to global warming and recent climatic changes. Therefore, enhancing drought tolerance in chickpea is today 's need to accelerate its production. Extensive studies such as quantitative trait loci/locus (QTL) mapping (Hamwieh et al. 2013, Jamalabadi et al. 2013, Rehman et al. 2011), genome wide association scan (GWAS) (Thudi, et al. 2014), candidate gene based allele diversity analysis (Roorkiwal, et al. 2014) have been carried out to identify genetic factors responsible for drought tolerance in chickpea. Recently, Varshney et al. (2014b) constructed a low density genetic map (mainly using simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers) and reported a genomic region on CaLG04 referred to as “QTL-hotspot” harboring several QTLs for drought tolerance related traits. Additionally, an independent study also showed improvement in drought tolerance related traits in an elite variety, JG 11, by introgression of this “QTL-hotspot” region (Varshney et al. 2013a). This region however spanned ~29...
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...d cDNA was synthesized from total RNA (2.5μg) using a cDNA synthesis kit (Superscript® III, Invitrogen, CA, USA) following manufacturer’s instructions. Real-time PCR was performed using Applied Biosystems 7500 Real Time PCR System with the SYBR green chemistry (Applied Biosystems, USA) according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Gene-specific primers for Real Time PCR were designed using primer 3 software (Rozen and Skaletsky 2000) and used for PCR amplification using the conditions described in Mir et al. (2014). The data from different PCR runs or cDNA samples was compared by using the mean of the CT values of the three biological replicates that were normalized to the mean CT values of the endogenous gene. The relative expression ratios were determined using the 2_∆∆Ct method and student 's t-test was used to calculate significance (Livak and Schmittgen 2001).
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