Model legumes contribute to faba bean breeding

Nicolas Rispail, Péter Kaló, György B. Kiss, T.h. Noel Ellis, Karine Gallardo, Richard D. Thompson, Elena Prats, Estibaliz Larrainzar, Ruben Ladrera, Esther M. González, Cesar Arrese-igor, Brett J. Ferguson, Peter M. Gresshoff, Diego Rubiales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (SciVal)


Faba bean is an excellent candidate crop to provide nitrogen input into temperate agricultural systems. However, its growth is hampered by several factors including environmental stresses and the presence of anti-nutritional factors. To solve these limitations, breeding programs have been initiated that were successful for monogenic traits but not so for multigenic traits. The large genome size of faba bean has slowed down breeding processes. Several other legumes have emerged as model legumes including Medicago truncatula, Lotus japonicus, Glycine max and Pisum sativum. The establishment of these models has already boosted our understanding of important processes such as the nitrogen-fixing symbiotic interaction. The high level of synteny and collinearity existing between legumes makes possible the transfer of key knowledge from model legumes to faba bean. Here we review the most recent knowledge gained from model legumes on grain quality, resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses, nitrogen-fixing symbiosis and how this knowledge can be employed for faba bean breeding.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-269
Number of pages17
JournalField Crops Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01 Feb 2010


  • Biotechnology
  • Breeding
  • Faba bean
  • Model legumes
  • Vicia faba
  • Medicago truncatula
  • Lotus japonicus


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