- Ascochyta blight resistance rating of resistant (R).
- Mid flowering and mid maturity, adapted to most growing regions of southern Australia.
- Medium/tall plant height, taller than PBA Slasher.
- Seed size is 17 grams per 100 seeds, marginally larger than Genesis 836.
Neelam is a Hindu/urdu word (the most widely spoken languages in the Indian subcontinent) meaning the gem blue sapphire. This follows the Western Australian convention of naming chickpea varieties in the language of the target market and referring to gems or precious metals found in Australia.
Neelam was tested as WACPE2155, 99-451A-WAD7 and 99-451A-WAD007.
This variety was developed by Dr Tanveer Khan (former Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) plant breeder), Winthrop Professor Kadambot Siddique (University of Western Australia) and the DPIRD pulse breeding team. The cross (8511-19/ICC 13729) was made in 1999 at Tamworth and then transferred as F4 generation to WA. The segregating populations were grown at Merredin in 2003 and subjected to ascochyta blight epidemic. A single plant showing ascochyta blight resistance and desirable agronomic traits was harvested individually and progeny grown in 2004, again at Merredin along with other single plant selections. This line was then observed as genetically fixed and tested at multi-location breeding trials until 2011.
The agronomy of growing Neelam is similar to all current Australian chickpea varieties. Neelam has the following agronomic characteristics:
- Plant height is higher than most Australian varieties but slightly lower than Genesis 836.
- Mid flowering similar to Genesis 836.
- Lodging has not been seen in any trials in WA, including trials where Neelam has yielded more than four tonnes per hectare (t/ha).
- Neelam is a mid maturity variety similar to PBA Slasher and Genesis 836.
- Neelam is resistant to ascochyta blight, as found over several years of testing in WA and in variable environments in India and New South Wales.
|Variety||Seed weight (g/100)||Seed colour||Flowering time||Maturity time||Plant height||Lodging|
|Genesis 836||17||light brown||mid||mid-late||tall||MR|
|Variety||Ascochyta blight||Ascochyta rating||Botrytis grey mould|