Analysing genes for quality and disease resistance in pulse crops

AS part of its work with the Pulse Crop Genetic Improvement Network (PCGIN), PGRO invited John Innes Centre metabolic biologist Claire Domoney to illustrate how researchers are looking to provide an understanding of how both protein quality and quantity can be improved for a variety of end-uses.

She said: “Several seed proteins determine the nutritional value of legume seeds for animal feed, whereas others are desirable proteins for human nutrition and may contribute positively

to human health.

“Most of our work is in peas, as there are limited genetic tools and resources available in beans, although Jane Thomas at NIAB is working in this area. But where appropriate we’re

exploiting model legumes of all types to identify the potential of variants and combinations.

“Beans are highly homozygous, and we are using in-bred crossing to facilitate the genetic analysis of traits that will improve yield stability, quality and pest and disease resistance, and develop markers for them.”

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