The present study was carried out to examine the interaction of vanadium and phosphorus and changes in heat shock genes to optimize the growth of chickpea genotypes. Two sets of hydroponic experiments were carried out using vanadium and phosphorus with five-level central composite design. Five levels of vanadium (0-1180 mu M) and phosphorus (0-100011 mu M) were used to evaluate their interactive effects. Plants fresh biomass and uptake of vanadium and phosphorus were influenced by vanadium and phosphorus application. Enhanced fresh biomass was most likely a result of increased phosphorus uptake by chickpea genotypes. Addition of vanadium induced toxic effects while, higher concentration of phosphorus alleviated its toxic effects. The obtained results also indicated that lower vanadium concentration promoted phosphorus absorption however; higher concentration of vanadium inhibited the phosphorus uptake. The morphological changes in leaves indicated that the cells were deformed and reduced in size when treated with higher vanadium levels with fixed phosphorus while, there was little deformation and reduction in cells size were observed when plants were treated with higher levels of phosphorus with fixed vanadium. Whereas, the proportion of deformation of cells were higher in Balkasar as compared to C-44 genotype. The results also showed that at elevated vanadium with fixed phosphorus, Hsp70 was expressed only in C-44 while, not in Balkasar however, Hsp90 and GAPDH showed non-significant results. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.