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Chickpea is one of the most important pulse crop cultivated across the globe which is conventionally a low-input crop that is being cultivated mostly in moisture deficient rainfed environments during post-rainy season. The crop is being severely affected with various biotic and abiotic stresses among which, drought and heat stress are considered as serious constraints limiting chickpea productivity in sub-tropical regions. Several strategies were adopted to enhance the productivity under drought and heat stress environments among which, the development of early flowering varieties is one of the key strategies gaining importance in recent past. Some of the early / super early varieties like ICCV 2, JG 11, JG 14, KAK 2, JAKI 9218, ICCV 96029 and ICCV 96030 were developed during the last three decades. One of the most significant milestones in breeding for early varieties is the identification of four genes efl-1, efl-2, efl-3 and efl-4 governing early flowering by using various lines viz., ICCV 2, ICCV 96029, ICC 5810, BGD 132 and ICC 16641. Several QTLs controlling time of flowering were also mapped on linkage groups LG1, LG2, LG3, LG4, LG5, LG6 and LG8. The information on inheritance of time of flowering, correlation between early flowering with other yield attributing traits like number of pods per plant, number of seeds per pod, seed size, 100-seed weight, identified QTLs for early flowering and abiotic and biotic stresses tolerance may be useful for developing early maturing varieties that posses tolerance to various abiotic stresses by using different conventional and biotechnological approaches.
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