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Revista mexicana de ciencias agrícolas

versão impressa ISSN 2007-0934

Rev. Mex. Cienc. Agríc vol.7 no.1 Texcoco Jan./Fev. 2016



Blanoro, new white chickpea variety with extra-large grain for exportation

Pedro Francisco Ortega Murrieta§  1 

Gustavo Adolfo Fierros Leyva1 

Isidoro Padilla Valenzuela2 

Víctor Valenzuela Herrera3 

Jorge Alberto Acosta-Gallegos4 

Erasmo Gutiérres Perez5 

Sixto Velarde Félix3 

Franklin Gerardo Rodríguez Cota6 

1Campo Experimental Costa de Hermosillo-INIFAP. Pascual Encinas No. 2, Col. La Manga, Hermosillo, Sonora. (;

2Campo Experimental Norman E. Borlaug-INIFAP. Calle Norman E. Borlaug km 12, Valle del Yaqui, Cd Obregón, Sonora. (

3Campo Experimental Valle de Culiacán-INIFAP. Carretera a El Dorado km 16.5, Culiacán, Sinaloa. (;

4Campo Experimental Bajío-INIFAP. Carretera Celaya-San Miguel de Allende km 6.5, Celaya, Guanajuato. (

5Campo Experimental Todos Santos-INIFAP. Agricultura entre México y Durango, Emiliano Zapata, La Paz, BCS. (

6Campo Experimental Valle del Fuerte-INIFAP. Carretera Internacional México-Nogales km 1609, Juan José Ríos, Sinaloa. (


Northwest Mexico is the most important production region of white chickpea for exportation, which is produced during the fall-winter cycle. A new variety of white chickpea is described: Blanoro with a grain that is apt for exportation due to its size and color. Blanoro is derived from the triple crossbreed of: (L-4924 x ‘Blanco Lechoso’) x Blanco Sinaloa-92 done in the Campo Experimental Costa de Hermosillo in 1997. The L-4924 progenitor has a small brown grain and the other two progenitors have large white grains. The Blanoro plant is semi-erect with white flowers and a slightly brighter and larger grain than the Blanco Sinaloa-92 variety. Blanoro is resistant to the main races of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. Ciceris that are present in the northwest region. In an average of six years of evaluation throughout northwestern locations, Blanoro produced 192 kg ha-1 more than Blanco Sinaloa-92 (2 634 vs 2 442 kg ha-1), the prevailing variety on the market. Its resistance to illnesses, its semi-erect disposition suitable for direct mechanical harvesting and the size and color of the Blanoro grain will provide producers certain advantages in the productivity and competitive areas for exportation.

Keywords: Cicer arietinum L.; direct harvest; fall-winter cycle; resistance to illnesses


El noroeste de México es el área productora más importante de garbanzo blanco para exportación, el cual se produce durante el ciclo de Otoño-Invierno. Se describe una nueva variedad de garbanzo blanco, Blanoro con grano apto para la exportación por su tamaño y color. Blanoro se derivó de la cruza triple: (L-4924 x ‘Blanco Lechoso’) x Blanco Sinaloa-92 realizada en el Campo Experimental Costa de Hermosillo en 1997. El progenitor L-4924 es de grano café pequeño y los otros dos progenitores son de grano blanco grande. La planta de Blanoro es semierecta, flor blanca y grano ligeramente más claro y grande que el de la variedad Blanco Sinaloa-92. Blanoro presenta resistencia a las principales razas de Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. ciceris presentes en la región Noroeste. En promedio de seis años de evaluación a través de localidades del Noroeste, Blanoro produjo 192 kg ha-1más que Blanco Sinaloa-92 (2 634 vs 2 442 kg ha-1), la variedad dominante en el mercado. La resistencia a enfermedades, tipo de planta semi-erecta apta para la cosecha mecánica directa y tamaño y color del grano de Blanoro, dará a los productores ventajas en productividad y competitividad para la exportación.

Palabras clave: Cicer arietinum L.; cosecha directa; ciclo otoño-invierno; resistencia a enfermedades


Northwest Mexico, which is comprised of the states of Sinaloa, Sonora and Baja California Sur, traditionally has been the production region of white chickpea for exportation, and it is the region where the highest quality grain in Mexico is produced in the fall-winter cycle. On average, between the cycles from 2007-2013, 76 918 ha of chickpea have been harvested with an average yield of 1 923 kg ha-1 and a production value worth 1 446 million Mexican pesos (SIAP, 2014). This surface includes chickpea that has been produced under two production systems: restricted irrigation and residual humidity.

The production of chickpea in northwest Mexico is based on the procurement of distinctly sized grain, which has given Mexican chickpea worldwide fame due to its extra-large size (Godwa et al., 2011). The main part of this success has been due to the development of varieties with grain characteristics that are in accordance with the needs of the international market, and which show tolerance during their production process to diseases that cause drying and wilting of plants, known as the “rabies” of the chickpea. These diseases are caused by fungi, among which Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. ciceris and Fusarium solani are most common (Jimenez- Díaz et al., 2011). The most prominent chickpea variety in the market for two decades has been the Blanco Sinaloa-92 (Gómez et al., 2003a), as the characteristics of its grain have made it possible for Mexican chickpea to be exported to more than 40 countries, among which Spain, Algeria and Italy are the main buyers (Manjarrez et al., 2004). In addition to Blanco Sinaloa-92, the following varieties have been subsequently released: Suprema 03 (Gómez et al., 2003b) for Sinaloa and Costa 2004 (Morales et al., 2005) for Sonora. However, the pressure of other countries that produce large white chickpea grains in the international market cause need for the generation of new varieties in the INIFAP, with superior characteristics that allow them to compete in the international market sector.

The new variety of white Blanoro chickpea, which on average from 44 evaluations produced 192 kg ha-1 more than Blanco Sinaloa-92, is described with a similar exportation caliber, a slightly brighter color, a shape and roughness that are accepted in the international market, and a tolerance to the “rabies” caused by the Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. Ciceris fungus. The production of this chickpea variety will allow for the production of a chickpea with a similar grain size to the Blanco Sinaloa-92 which will compete with chickpeas produced in other countries that have recently entered the white chickpea market and that will help reach a higher selling price.


Blanoro originated from the triple crossbreed of L-4924 x Blanco Lechoso x Blanco Sinaloa-92 done in 1997 in the Campo Experimental Costa de Hermosillo (CECH) of the Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales, Agrícolas y Pecuarias (INIFAP). The L-4924 variety is a swineherd type chickpea with small brown grains that are resistant to drying and wilting. Blanco Lechoso is a variety of Spanish origin, the grain is large, white and spongy; it is valued by experts due to its high quality. Blanco Sinaloa-92 is a variety developed by the INIFAP (Gómez et al., 2003), of high yield, high adaptability to the environment of the northwestern part of the country and with a grain color and size that is suitable for the international market.

The development process of the Blanoro variety was done in the CECH. From the first segregation generation (F1) the harvest was done in mass (M) without selection. In later generations a mass selection was done, selecting big and clear grains until the fourth generation; the fifth generation selected individual plants. The original Blanoro variety corresponded to plant number 12 in Hermosillo (12H). From then on, harvest was done in mass until the seventh segregation generation (F7), selecting by grain size and uniformity the phenotype characteristics of the plant, color and size of grain. Its entire genealogy is: IIGH.97.6-M-M-M-M-12H-M-M. During the selection process, the variety was evaluated against “rabies” caused by the Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. ciceris fungus, and was selected as resistant to this disease.

Starting on the fall-winter O-I 2004-2005 cycle until O-I 2008-2011, it was evaluated as the variety with the Hoga 012 identification in the regional yield test and in validation parcels established in northwest Mexico, in the locations of: Costa de Hermosillo, Valle del Yaqui and Valle del Mayo in Sonora; Valle del Fuerte and Valle de Culiacán in Sinaloa; and Valle de Santo Domingo in Baja California Sur. Blanoro has proven its adaptability to the entire northwestern region and could adapt to other agricultural zones of Mexico.

Description of Blanoro

Blanoro is a semi-erect growth habit plant. It has green leaves of medium intensity, similar to those of Blanco Sinaloa-92 and Costa 2004 (Morales et al., 2005). The leaf is a compound type, with medium leaflets, oval-shaped and of a semi-opaque green color. The flower is white, the sheaths are big and on average are 30.55 mm in longitude by 15.6 mm in diameter when they are in the process of developing grains. They are bright green similar to the ones of Costa 2004.

The average weight of the Blanoro seed is 66-72 g per 100 seeds; this is equal to a caliber of 42.44 seeds in 30 g of weight (or 3 x or 4 x caliber). Their grain is a creamy white color, with a pronounced roughness similar to that of Blanco Sinaloa-92. The shape of the seed is angular round, similar to the seed of Blanco Sinaloa-92, although bigger in size. The Blanoro variety is resistant to Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. ciceris which is one of the main agents that causes wilting and drying of the chickpea. Their cooking time is similar to Blanco Sinaloa, approximately 10% more time than Blanco Sinaloa-92 after soaking the seed for 12 hours.

Blanoro has an intermediate maturity cycle, similar to Blanco Sinaloa-92. It sprouts the first flowers between 37 and 50 days after sowing and it finishes flowering 90 days after. The maturity to be cut changes between 110 and 125 days after sowing, and the maturity for harvest varies between 125 and 135 days. The growth habit of the plant is determined. It produces branches that are 64 cm in length with an average of 3 primary branches and 4 to 6 secondary branches.

Yield and grain quality

The Blanoro variety was evaluated in the regional yield tests established in the locations of Valle del Fuerte and Valle de Culiacán in Sinaloa; Valle del Yaqui, Valle del Mayo and Costa de Hermosillo in Sonora; and Valle de Santo Domingo in Baja California Sur. Subsequently, starting on the fall winter 2007-2008 cycle and until the 2012-2013 cycle, Blanoro was evaluated, among other lines and varieties, in validation parcels in 44 locations in northwest Mexico in the states of Sonora, Sinaloa and Baja California Sur in cooperative agricultural fields. The management of the evaluation parcels was done according to the production systems of each area where the evaluation was carried out. Standard deviation values were used in order to estimate the consistency of the genotypes (Binsanger and Barah, 1980), the stability model of Eberhart and Russel (1966) and the classification of varieties proposed by Carballo and Márquez (1970).

There was no significant statistical difference in the yield of the origin and exportation grain between the two varieties. A genotype stability analysis was carried out through the division of the genetic-environmental interaction in two parts, one which is due to the response of the variety when changing the environmental indexes, and the second to the inexplicable deviations of the regression on the environmental index. A stable variety is one that shows a bi= 1 regression coefficient and a regression deviation of S 2 d= 0. In accordance to the aforementioned criteria and to the classification proposal of Carballo and Márquez (1970), both varieties presented a better response in good environments but it was inconsistent (where bi= 0.0011 and 0.0010 for Blanoro and Blanco Sinaloa-92, respectively; and S 2 d= 0.0301 and 0.0308 for Blanoro and Blanco Sinaloa-92, respectively). According to the evaluations, Blanoro presented an average of 192 kg ha-1 more exportation yield in an average of six years of evaluation than the Blanco Sinaloa-92 control (Table 1).

Table 1. Origin and exportation yield (kg ha-1) of two varieties of white chickpea, average of several locations in northwest Mexico. Cycles from 2008-2013. 

Ciclo Agrícola Variedad
Blanoro Blanco Sinaloa 92
Rendimiento origen Rendimiento exportación Rendimiento origen Rendimiento exportación
2007-2008 (n= 10) 3 359 3 170 3 062 2 712
2008-2009 (n= 9) 2 606 2 442 2 408 2 162
2009-2010 (n= 9) 2 671 2 469 2 611 2 329
2010-2011 (n= 3) 2 214 2 112 2 234 2 044
2011-2012 (n= 7) 2 946 2 832 2 917 2 729
2012-2013 (n= 6) 2 955 2 779 3 048 2 676
Promedio (n= 44) 2 792 2 634 2 713 2 442

The exportation yield was obtained by passing a sample of the grain through a 9 mm mesh in diameter; the grain that did not go through the mesh would be the one selected for exportation. In the same manner, the caliber of the Blanoro grain was two points larger than the control one (45 vs. 47 caliber), and the percentage of exportation grain was bigger in Blanoro than it was in the control one with values of 94% vs. 88% (Table 2).

Table 2. Caliber of the grain and exportation percentage of average chickpea varieties from several locations in northwest Mexico. Cycles from 2008-2013. INIFAP. 

Ciclo Agrícola Variedad
Blanoro Blanco Sinaloa 92
Calibre de grano (%) de exportación Calibre de grano (%) de exportación
2007-2008 (n= 10) 44 94 46 88
2008-2009 (n= 9) 44 94 45 89
2009-2010 (n= 9) 46 92 47 87
2010-2011 (n= 3) 45 95 47 91
2011-2012 (n=7) 46 96 49 91
2012-2013 (n= 6) 44 95 46 84
Promedio (n= 44) 45 94 47 88

The tendency of Blanoro to present a higher yield, a slightly bigger grain and a higher exportation percentage than Blanco Sinaloa-92 can be observed. According to the results, Blanoro favorably competes with Blanco Sinaloa-92 in terms of yield, grain characteristics, exportation percentage, grain caliber and resistance to drying and wilting due to Fusarium.

Comparative advantages of the variety

The Blanoro variety shows a higher yield, similar caliber and brighter grain than the commercial variety Blanco Sinaloa-92. Blanco Sinaloa-92 presented an average yield of 2 442 kg ha-1 and the new variety presented an average yield of 2 634 kg ha-1 (information from 2007-2013); the average grain caliber of the control variety was 47 (x), while the new Blanoro variety presented a caliber of 45 (2 x), in an average of six years of evaluation in validation parcels done in northwest Mexico. The grain caliber was defined as the number of seeds necessary to complete 30 g of weight. Furthermore, the grain of this variety is a similar color to the control Blanco Sinaloa-92, as it presented a 33.5% relative reflectance measured with Agtron equipment (green specter) and 30.6% reflectance with the Blanoro variety (Romero-Baranzini et al., 2010). With the above considerations, the new variety will efficiently compete with other countries that produce chickpea, while facilitating the placement of Mexican chickpea and obtaining a better selling price in the international market.

Agronomic management

The agronomic management of Blanoro is similar to Blanco Sinaloa-92. Blanoro can be produced with conventional irrigation, drip systems or residual humidity. Due to its semi-erect growth habit, harvest can be done in a direct mechanical manner with a minimum loss, providing appropriate adjustments to the threshing machine. It has been observed that Blanoro tends to have a higher susceptibility to the attack of leaf miner (Lyriomiza cicerina), probably due to the big size of the leaflet compared to that of other improved and creole varieties. A relation already mentioned by Toker et al. (2010) in Turkey indicates that the genotypes of common leaves are the most susceptible, followed by those of composed leaves with big leaflets. It is therefore necessary to keep in mind the frequent monitoring of the plague in the field in order to control it chemically or biologically.

Adaptation area

The adaptation area of the Blanoro variety is in the regions of Costa de Hermosillo, Valle del Yaqui and Valle del Mayo in Sonora; Valle del Fuerte and Valle de Culiacán in Sinaloa; and Valle de Santo Domingo in Baja California Sur. In these regions, Blanoro reaches its highest yield and biggest grain size; this comprises a potential surface of 100 000 ha.


The potential area of adaptation also entails the agricultural production zones of Valle de Guaymas-Empalme and the Fuerte-Mayo zone in the southern region of the state of Sonora and in the Bajío, where it has already been evaluated with positive results for the production of grain or fresh pod (chickpea).

Literatura citada

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Carballo, C. A. y Márquez, S. A. 1970. Comparación de variedades de maíz del Bajío y de la mesa central por su rendimiento y estabilidad. Agrociencia. 129-146. [ Links ]

Eberhart, S. A. and Russel, W.A. 1966. Stability parameters for comparing varieties. Crop Sci. 6:36-40. [ Links ]

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Gómez, G. R. M.; Salinas, P. R. A. y Gómez, G. L. 2003b. Suprema-03, variedad de garbanzo para exportación. SAGARPA-INIFAP-CIRNO-C.E. Valle de Culiacán. Folleto técnico Núm. 25. 15 p. [ Links ]

Gowda, C. L. L.; Upadhyaya, H. D.; Dronavalli, N. and Singh, S. 2011. Identification of large-seeded high-yielding stable kabuli chickpea germplasm lines for use in crop improvement. Crop Sci. 51:198-209. [ Links ]

Jiménez-Díaz, R. M.; Jiménez-Gasco, M. M.; Landa, B. B.; Castillo, P. and Navas- Cortés, J. A. 2011. Fusarium wilt of chickpea. In: compendium of chickpea and lentil diseases. Chen, W. Sharma, H. C., and Muehlbauer, F. J. eds. APS Press. St. Paul, MN. 160 p. [ Links ]

Manjarrez, S. P.; Gómez, G. R. M; Salinas, P. R. A. y Armenta, S. L. L. 2004. Blanco Sinaloa-92: Caso exitoso del mejoramiento genético de garbanzo en Sinaloa. SAGARPA-INIFAP-CIRNO-C.E. Valle de Culiacán. Folleto para productores Núm. 52. 21 p. [ Links ]

Morales, G. J. A.; Manjarrez, S. P.; Castillo, T. N.; Salinas, P. R. A.; Montoya, C. L. y Padilla, V. I. 2005. Costa 2004: nueva variedad de garbanzo blanco para la Costa de Hermosillo. SAGARPA-INIFAP-CIRNO-CE. Costa de Hermosillo. Folleto técnico Núm. 28. 20 p. [ Links ]

Romero-Baranzini, A. L.; Falcón-Villa, M. R.; Barrón-Hoyos, J. M.; Silveira- Gramont, M. I. y Alfaro-Rodríguez, R. H. 2010. Evaluación de color del garbanzo (Cicer arietinum L.) por métodos instrumentales y sensoriales. Rev. Mex. Agron. 14(27):323-335. [ Links ]

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Toker, C.; Erler, F.; Öncü-Ceylan, F. and Çanci, H. 2010. Severity of leaf miner [Liriomyza cicerina (Rondani, 1875) (Diptera: Agromyzidae)] damage in relation to leaf type in chickpea. Turk. Entomol. Derg. 34(2):211-225. [ Links ]

Received: August 2015; Accepted: January 2016

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