Milling Performance and Other Quality Traits Affected by Seed Shape in Isogenic Lines of Desi Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.)

Jennifer A. Wood, Edmund J. Knights, Steven Harden, Mingan Choct


Milling of pulses generally involves removal of the seed coat and splitting of the cotyledons to produce splits or ‘dhal’. The aim of this research was to investigate whether seed shape affected seed quality using two sets of near-isogenic lines differing by a single allele at the seed shape locus (Rd/rd). Seed shape had a profound effect on milling quality: rounded seeds produced 7% more dhal than their angular counterparts. There were also significant effects on other quality parameters attributable to seed shape: rounded seeds had less seed coat content because it was thinner, a more intense seed coat colour, faster water absorption but lower hydration capacity and a slightly longer dhal cooking time. This study shows that seed shape is more important than seed coat thickness from a milling perspective and suggests that breeding programs should select for rounder shaped desi chickpeas to maximise dhal yields and profitability for the splitting industry.

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Journal of Agricultural Science   ISSN 1916-9752 (Print)   ISSN 1916-9760 (Online)  E-mail:

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