Chickpeas’ Tolerance of Drought and Heat: Current Knowledge and Next Steps

Erna Karalija, Chiara Vergata, Marcos Fernando Basso, Miriam Negussu, Michele Zaccai, Maria Fatima Grossi-de-Sa, Federico Martinelli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The global increase in temperature and associated meteorological disruptions, such as the earlier onset of high temperatures and disruptions in precipitation, are becoming severely limiting factors in crop cultivation. Chickpea, as a cool season crop, is under the direct influence of heat and drought stress that is not only affecting this crop in its podding stage but, with current climate trends, the drought and heat are now also affecting earlier stages, such as flowering. The deteriorating effects of heat and droughts include reduced flowering, abortion of flowers and absence of podding; thus, this is severely affecting crop yield. Further research has been conducted to identify the genes correlated to higher stress tolerance and to utilize them in developing more tolerant varieties. Different alleviation approaches have been also tested and it has been determined that some positive effects can be seen in supplementation with Zn through melioration of water relations, seed priming and some transgenic and genome editing approaches. Breeding strategies for future chickpea varieties have been focused on the identification of varieties with more tolerant traits for an improved yield under stressed conditions. In this review, we have reviewed recent strategies and biotechnological approaches that have been used with chickpea crops to address the two major abiotic stresses (heat and drought) linked to future climate change.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2248
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2022


  • chickpea
  • drought
  • heat
  • stress
  • tolerance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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