Recent status of Moroccan faba bean landraces: collection, characterization and utilization
El Abidine Fatemi, Zain
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Faba bean (Vicia faba L.) is an important food and feed legume crop in Morocco with a multitude of uses. Morocco is known to be an important center for diversity for faba bean. However, the erosion of faba bean genetic resources remains one of the principal threat for this crop. Therefore, V. faba genetic resources need to be collected, characterized, evaluated and conserved in genebank before being proposed to be integrated in faba bean improvement program. A total of 117 local populations were collected from 2012 to 14 from the faba bean growing region of Morocco. These populations were morphologically characterized using ICARDA/IPGRI descriptors, and evaluated for major agronomical traits. Large genetic variability has been identified in terms of leaflet characteristics (size, shape and number), plant height, pod characteristics (angle at maturity, shape, surface reflectance, distribution on the stem, length and number of seeds per pod). Moderate variability was observed for leaflet size and shape, flower color. No variability was observed for growth habit, branching from higher nodes, wing petal color, pod color at maturity and hilum color. Based on morphological traits, principal component analysis led to grouping of these landraces into nine clusters. These Moroccan landraces were also screened for biotic stresses and identified landraces tolerant to chocolate spot. Concerning drought, the tested landraces showed large variability in tolerance to drought and performed well in both environments. Molecular analysis using microsatellite markers indicated substantial diversity among the local landraces. The identified useful variability is being deployed in conventional breeding for the genetic improvement of faba bean in national breeding program.