• The Cook lab with Alex Greenlon as first author published the paper titled "Global-level population genomics reveals differential effects of geography and phylogeny on horizontal gene transfer in soil bacteria" in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America) July 2019. Article PDF
  • The new BBC World News and BBC Future series, Follow the Food, will explorer how farmers, scientists and engineers hope to improve the efficiency and sustainability of our food. The work being done by Douglas Cook and the Chickpea Innovation Lab will be highlighted in one of the episodes as noted in this article about the series.
  • Chickpea research and the need for diversity is the focus of a crops and commodities opinion article called, Beyond Hummus, by Foodtank. The article features the Chickpea Innovation Lab and Douglas Cook. Article -->  LinkArrow2.jpg
  • The article by Amanda Mull, "In the Future, Everything Will Be Made of Chickpeas: America is finally embracing an ingredient that much of the world has relied on for millennia", in The Atlantic  (March 2019) discusses the health benefits of chickpea as referenced by Douglas Cook, UC Davis Professor and Chickpea Lab Director. Article --> LinkArrow2.jpg
  • Steve Jefferies, Grains Research and Development Corporation managing director, talks about how global chickpea diversity is key to expanding Western Australia's pulse production in two articles - Farm Weekly LinkArrow2.jpg and Grain Central. LinkArrow2.jpg
  • The Chickpea Root Project is a new partner program led by the University of Edinburgh. More--> 

More News - Current and Archived

USAID Project

This project fosters breeding of high‑yielding, climate resilient chickpea within the context of user‑preferred traits: seed quality and nutrient density, reduced inputs due to climate resilient nitrogen fixation, and biotic stress resistance among them. We have identified and are introducing newly collected wild alleles into diverse high performing elite cultivars. These efforts will make chickpea more resilient to climatic variation, and in the process help alleviate rural poverty, reduce childhood malnutrition, and increase food security for smallholder farmers.  More-->

NSF Project

Chickpea and its wild relatives have a natural capacity for nitrogen fixation, reducing their dependence on fertilizer nitrogen. Nevertheless domesticated legumes, including chickpea, often suffer from low and/or variable rates of nitrogen fixation. This project bridges ecology and molecular biology by means of genomics and quantitative biology to identify and subsequently analyze genes involved in the establishment of the legume rhizobial symbiosis.  More-->

Global Crop Diversity Trust

This project includes the dual focuses of (1) curation, increase and distribution of wild germplasm, and (2) analysis of drought tolerance among representative wild accessions. Water availability is critical during reproduction and grain filling, and thus is a key factor in yield. Plant traits that conserve soil moisture even when water is not limiting are likely to be relevant for yield improvement under limiting water conditions, especially in chickpea where the most relevant water stress is terminal drought. More-->

CGIAR Consortium Research Program 3.5 on Grain Legumes

The CGIAR Consortium Research Program 3.5 on Grain Legumes will: (1) assess molecular diversity among C. reticulatum and C. echinospermum accessions held by CGIAR repositories, and (2) contribute to establishing the genome structure of wild C. reticulatum and C. echinospermum based on long-read sequencing. These molecular tools will facilitate association mapping and introgression breeding for several CRP-GL product line objectives.

Mars Incorporated

Mars Incorporated provided a gift to facilitate genomic and genetic analysis of pre-breeding populations in chickpea. Their investement serves to accelerate trait-marker discovery. The outomes will improve the speed and precision of crop improvement through molecular breeding for key factors important to developing world agriculture. Mars Incorporated funds research to address critical challenges related to food, agriculture and health. For more information, please visit Mars Science and Innovation website LinkArrow2.jpg and the 2013 Press Release LinkArrow2.jpgfor the announcement detailing the company’s Principles-led approach to business and its commitments.

2Blades Foundation

The 2Blades Foundation provided a gift to work on Fusarium wilt. This new activity combines efforts with Plant Pathologists and Breeders at the International Center for Agriculture Research in the Dry Areas and the Ethiopian Institute for Agricultural Research. The project aims to understand genomic diversity of the devastating Fusarium wilt pathogen within Ethiopia and to use this information to facilitate breeding of improved chickpea varieties. The funding will also provide support for two Ethiopian PhD students. Link to information about the 2Blades Foundation gift LinkArrow2.jpg.


The Australian Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) provided a grant to UC Davis to establish our wild species collection, which has been characterized at the genome level and is now being used for agronomic trait assessment and genetic introgression by our breeding and agronomy teams. GRDC also funds a large, multi-institutional project within Australia, focused on the physiology of drought and plant maturity, nitrogen fixation, nematode resistance and molecular breeding.


The University of Saskatchewan leads a Canadian project sponsored from multiple sources, including grower groups and the regional government. Their efforts emphasize chickpea phenotyping and breeding to address constraints to chickpea production in Canada, including cold tolerance, disease resistance and nutrition. The Canadian group works closely with the U.S. and international teams for germplasm exchange, expanding the project’s capacity to deliver introgression breeding lines globally.

Chickpea Root Project - University of Edinburgh

Led by the University of Edinburgh, the Chickpea Root Project aims to improve chickpea growth and maintain yields by increasing root system depth as a means to access water under dry conditions. The program focuses on visualization tools so that varieties and breeds more suited to dry conditions can be rapidly identified and tested in the field. More-->