Breaking Legume's Crops Wild Relative Barrier
A new concern about legumes is being brought to attention. Legumes are important because in some parts of the world it provides food security and fertile soil. However, many legumes are being hit by disease, insect-pest and are highly vulnerable to heat stress. In a article by ScienceDaily, it talks about a solution to this problem. The wild relatives of these domesticated legumes show high resistant to diseases and changes in the environment. Researcher Shivali Sharma expresses the difficulty she runs into trying to breed wild relatives with domesticated legumes. For example out of eight wild species of chickpeas, only one is crossable with the domesticated chickpea. Also, wild varieties of the groundnut shows resistant to fungal infection, however the DNA is packaged differently. Fortunately, with the help of ICRISAT, a pre-breeding program and Sharma, they were able to create a new breeding line with good resistant. As a result, breeders are now able to cross fungal resistant lines with domesticated groundnut.