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The history of chickpea cultivation and breeding in Israel

In: Israel Journal of Plant Sciences
Authors:
Shmuel Galili Institute of Plant Sciences, ARO, The Volcani Center, P.O. Box 15159, HaMaccabim Road 68, Rishon LeZion 7528809, Israel;

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Hovav Ran Institute of Plant Sciences, ARO, The Volcani Center, P.O. Box 15159, HaMaccabim Road 68, Rishon LeZion 7528809, Israel;

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Evgenia Dor Institute of Plant Protection, Agricultural Research Organization (ARO), Newe Ya’ar Research Center, P.O. Box 1021, Ramat Yishay 30095, Israel

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Joseph Hershenhorn Institute of Plant Protection, Agricultural Research Organization (ARO), Newe Ya’ar Research Center, P.O. Box 1021, Ramat Yishay 30095, Israel

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Arye Harel Institute of Plant Sciences, ARO, The Volcani Center, P.O. Box 15159, HaMaccabim Road 68, Rishon LeZion 7528809, Israel;

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Orit Amir-Segev Institute of Plant Sciences, ARO, The Volcani Center, P.O. Box 15159, HaMaccabim Road 68, Rishon LeZion 7528809, Israel;

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Aharon Bellalou Institute of Plant Sciences, ARO, The Volcani Center, P.O. Box 15159, HaMaccabim Road 68, Rishon LeZion 7528809, Israel;

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Hana Badani Institute of Plant Sciences, ARO, The Volcani Center, P.O. Box 15159, HaMaccabim Road 68, Rishon LeZion 7528809, Israel;

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Evgeny Smirnov Institute of Plant Protection, Agricultural Research Organization (ARO), Newe Ya’ar Research Center, P.O. Box 1021, Ramat Yishay 30095, Israel

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Guy Achdari Institute of Plant Protection, Agricultural Research Organization (ARO), Newe Ya’ar Research Center, P.O. Box 1021, Ramat Yishay 30095, Israel

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Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) is an ancient crop, mentioned in the Bible and in the Jerusalem Talmud. In the last 60 years, chickpea cultivation and breeding have undergone great advances. Those in cultivation have involved mainly changing the sowing dates and developing disease management for Ascochyta blight. In the last 10 years, to increase sowing areas, effort has been invested in developing agrotechniques for immature green chickpea harvesting. Today, breeding efforts are focused mainly on producing erect and high-yielding cultivars that are resistant to Ascochyta blight and Fusarium wilt. Moreover, in the last decade, breeding programs for early flowering have been initiated in the south of Israel, in areas with terminal drought, as well as for resistance to herbicides and the broomrape Phelipanche aegyptiaca. Thanks to all of these efforts, today chickpea is the major pulse crop in Israel.

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