The chickpea Early Flowering 1 (Efl1) locus is an ortholog of Arabidopsis ELF3 ($)

Chickpea is a highly cultivated member of the legume family, mostly in India, Australia, Pakistan, Turkey, Burma, Iran, Canada and the US. The detrimental threat for chickpea is the invasion of Ascochyta blight, which is caused by the fungal pathogen Ascochyta rabiei (formerly known as Phoma rabiei).  The two possible ways to combat this problem are – finding resistance genes or finding early flowering genes. Ridge et al. took the latter approach. They mapped, sequenced and characterized an early flowering gene, Efl1, in chickpea. Interestingly, Efl1 is an ortholog of the Arabidopsis early flowering gene EFL3. The authors identified an 11-bp deletion in the first exon which causes premature termination in the early-flowering variety. A search through 236 lines from global germplasm resources confirmed that 13 lines contain this 11-bp deletion. The variation has arisen in recent times within Indian germplasm to enhance an existing early flowering phenotype. Plant Physiol. 10.1104/pp.17.00082