Genetic diversity of physical, nutritional and functional properties of cowpea grain and relationships among the traits
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Satoru Muranaka, Junko Takeuchi, Takao Myoda, Mariko Shono, Hiroki Takagi, Ousmane Boukar. (Accepted on 12/3/2015). Genetic diversity of physical, nutritional and functional properties of cowpea grain and relationships among the traits. Plant Genetic Resources.
Cowpea is traditionally important as an affordable source of protein and minerals and of cash income in sub-Saharan Africa, especially for small-scale farmers who have limited options for food and cash crops. The development and deployment of cowpea varieties with improved nutrition and quality that meet the needs of farmers and consumers should enhance cowpea consumption and production in the region. We have identiﬁed genetic diversity in various grain quality-related traits of cowpea and relationships among the traits. Wide genetic variation and strong correlations among crude protein, Fe and Zn contents suggest the possibility of improving the concentrations of these nutritional factors simultaneously. Low associations among physical and nutritional properties of grain indicate the possibility of introgressing favorable traits utilizing identiﬁed genetic resources. However, narrow variation in amino acid (AA) composition suggests a lesser possibility of improving the contents of speciﬁc AAs in cowpea, but it gave a reliable nitrogen-to-protein conversion factor of 5.45 for the estimation of crude protein content. Several improved breeding lines were identiﬁed with low concentrations of ﬂatulence-causing oligosaccharides and various favorable agronomic traits and nutrient contents. TVu-12802 had the highest contents of crude protein and high contents of micronutrients, with a low ratio of phytic acid to Fe and Zn contents