Experimental Agriculture

Research Article

Sensitivity of Chickpeas (Cicer arietinum) to Hot Temperatures during the Reporductive Period

R. J. Summerfielda1, P. Hadleya1 p1, E. H. Robertsa1, F. R. Minchina1 p2 and S. Rawsthornea1

a1 University of Reading, Department of Agriculture and Horticulture, Plant Environment Laboratory, Shinfield, Reading RG2 9AD, England


Plants of two genotypes of chickpea (Cicer arietinum), classified as early or late-maturing in the field, and relying either on dinitrogen fixation by nodules or on nitrate-N, were grown in various simulated tropical environments in growth cabinets. Plants were transferred between cabinets at various times so that they experienced either warm (30°C) or hot (35°C) days (both in combination with a typical night temperature of 10°C) for different durations of reproductive growth, after growing in average (30°C day - 10°C night) or warmer than average (30° - 18°C) temperatures for the first 28 days from sowing and then average temperatures until transferred into the hot regime. Diurnal vapour pressure deficits were adjusted so that plants experienced a constant atmospheric relative himidity (70%) in all thermal regimes. The greater the proportion of the reproductive period spent in hot days the smaller the seed yields produced; plants transferred at 50% flowering were almost barren. The implications of these data for breeding chickpeas well adapted to hot environments are discussed.

(Accepted August 30 1983)


p1 Present address: Sub-Department of Horticulture, University of Reading

p2 Present address: Plant and Crop Physiology Department, Grassland Research Institute, Hurley, Maidenhead SL6 5LR, England.


† One of a series of papers resulting from a collaborative project with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, India; sponsored by the UK Overseas Development Administration.