Trends in science - Faba bean - Improving faba bean for sustainable agriculture in dry areas
Fouad Maalouf, Seid Ahmed Kemal. (13/9/2017). Trends in science - Faba bean - Improving faba bean for sustainable agriculture in dry areas.
Faba bean (Vicia faba) is one of the oldest crops, originated in the Fertile Crescent and is now distributed around the world and produced under different agro-climatic conditions in Mediterranean and semi-arid conditions as a rainfed and in Nile Valley countries as irrigated crop. It is a good source of food, incomes to smallholder farmers and plays an important role as rotation and mixed crop in improving soil fertility that helps sustainable production of cereal crops and in conserving the ecosystem. Since the crop is partial allogamous benefits from the presence of insect pollinators. However, faba bean is threaten by diverse abiotic and biotic stresses. Among abiotic stresses heat, drought, salinity and soil acidity are the major constraints of the crop while Orobanche crenata, stem borer, aphids and fungal and virus diseases are key factors for high yield gaps. The International Centre for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA) holds the major and unique faba bean germplasm collection (10036 accessions), which has been used in gene mining that led to release of cultivars for high yield and tolerant to abiotic (heat and drought) and biotic stresses (fungal diseases and parasitic weeds) in many countries. Faba bean improvement program at ICARDA has generated many elite germplasm with high yield, low tannin content, market traits and resistant to diseases, parasitic weed and tolerant to heat and drought and shared with National agricultural systems (NARS) and many cultivars are developed and released. During the last 10 years 21 faba bean varieties were released by NARS from ICARDA International Public Goods (IPGs) and bringing impacts on the productivity and area increases in China, Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt. In Ethiopia, various varieties (Gora, Gelbechu, Moti and Walki) are being scaled out in the wheatbased cropping system in Ethiopia. In Egypt, parasitic weed resistant cultivars (Giza843 and Misr3) helped in the rehabilitation of faba bean in Egypt leading to 25% area increase. In China, cultivar Yandoo147 covered 140,000 ha in Yunnan province. Besides the achievement made so far, the breeding efforts are relatively slow due to the nature and mechanism of resistance of key diseases, parasitic weeds and abiotic stresses. To accelerate breeding cycles, there is a need to use the emerging biotechnological tools, such as marker-assisted selection, which have not been widelyadopted despite significant achievements on quantitative trait loci (QTL) studies and the development of consensus maps in faba bean. The progress made in tissue culture and genetic transformation of faba bean can help to the introgression of sources for multiple stress resistance/tolerance into high yielding and adapted cultivars.
Kemal, Seid Ahmedhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-1791-9369