Recent advances in faba bean genetic and genomic tools for crop improvement

Hamid Khazaei, Donal M. O'Sullivan, Frederick L. Stoddard, Kedar N. Adhikari, Jeffrey G. Paull, Alan H. Schulman, Stig U. Andersen, Albert Vandenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review


Abstract Faba bean (Vicia faba L.), a member of the Fabaceae family, is one of the important food legumes cultivated in cool temperate regions. It holds great importance for human consumption and livestock feed because of its high protein content, dietary fibre, and nutritional value. Major faba bean breeding challenges include its mixed breeding system, unknown wild progenitor, and genome size of ~13 Gb, which is the largest among diploid field crops. The key breeding objectives in faba bean include improved resistance to biotic and abiotic stress and enhanced seed quality traits. Regarding quality traits, major progress on reduction of vicine-convicine and seed coat tannins, the main anti-nutritional factors limiting faba bean seed usage, have been recently achieved through gene discovery. Genomic resources are relatively less advanced compared with other grain legume species, but significant improvements are underway due to a recent increase in research activities. A number of bi-parental populations have been constructed and mapped for targeted traits in the last decade. Faba bean now benefits from saturated synteny-based genetic maps, along with next-generation sequencing and high-throughput genotyping technologies that are paving the way for marker-assisted selection. Developing a reference genome, and ultimately a pan-genome, will provide a foundational resource for molecular breeding. In this review, we cover the recent development and deployment of genomic tools for faba bean breeding.
Original languageEnglish
Article number75
JournalLegume Science
Issue number3
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal

Fields of Science

  • breeding
  • gene discovery
  • genomic resources
  • mapping population
  • Vicia faba
  • 11831 Plant biology

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