Genome-wide insertion–deletion (InDel) marker discovery and genotyping for genomics-assisted breeding applications in chickpea
We developed 21,499 genome-wide insertion–deletion (InDel) markers (2- to 54-bp in silico fragment length polymorphism) by comparing the genomic sequences of four (desi, kabuli and wild C. reticulatum) chickpea [Cicer arietinum (L.)] accessions. InDel markers showing 2- to 6-bp fragment length polymorphism among accessions were abundant (76.8%) in the chickpea genome. The physically mapped 7,643 and 13,856 markers on eight chromosomes and unanchored scaffolds, respectively, were structurally and functionally annotated. The 4,506 coding (23% large-effect frameshift mutations) and regulatory InDel markers were identified from 3,228 genes (representing 11.7% of total 27,571 desi genes), suggesting their functional relevance for trait association/genetic mapping. High amplification (97%) and intra-specific polymorphic (60–83%) potential and wider genetic diversity (15–89%) were detected by genome-wide 6,254 InDel markers among desi, kabuli and wild accessions using even a simpler cost-effective agarose gel-based assay. This signifies added advantages of this user-friendly genetic marker system for manifold large-scale genotyping applications in laboratories with limited infrastructure and resources. Utilizing 6,254 InDel markers-based high-density (inter-marker distance: 0.212 cM) inter-specific genetic linkage map (ICC 4958 × ICC 17160) of chickpea as a reference, three major genomic regions harboring six flowering and maturity time robust QTLs (16.4–27.5% phenotypic variation explained, 8.1–11.5 logarithm of odds) were identified. Integration of genetic and physical maps at these target QTL intervals mapped on three chromosomes delineated five InDel markers-containing candidate genes tightly linked to the QTLs governing flowering and maturity time in chickpea. Taken together, our study demonstrated the practical utility of developing and high-throughput genotyping of such beneficial InDel markers at a genome-wide scale to expedite genomics-assisted breeding applications in chickpea.