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Breeding Forage and Grain Legumes to Increase EU’s and China’s Protein Self-sufficiency

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Abstract

Both Europe and China have a low level of protein autonomy. They import 30% and 60%, respectively, of the world plant protein production for both human and animal nutrition. However, in both continents, regions with appropriate agro-ecological conditions for the production of plant proteins exist. The project EUCLEG, recently granted by the H2020 programme of European Union, has the ambition to give a new momentum to forage legume (alfalfa and red clover) and grain legume (pea, faba bean and soybean) breeding. The scientific objectives of this project are (i) to broaden the genetic base of legume crops, (ii) to analyse the genetic diversity of European and Chinese legume accessions using phenotypic traits (yield, quality in a context of climate change) and molecular markers, (iii) to analyse the genetic architecture of key breeding traits using association genetics (GWAS) and (iv) to evaluate the benefits brought by genomic selection (GS) to create new legume varieties. Comprehensive searchable databases containing passport data, as well as agronomic and genetic features will be developed. The breeders that are members of EUCLEG will exploit the results to create the new varieties needed to improve protein production.

Keywords

  • Forage legume
  • Grain legume
  • Association genetics
  • Genomic selection
  • Plant genetic resources
  • Biodiversity informatics

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Acknowledgments

EUCLEG is a RIA project (n°727312) granted by European Union, call H2020-SFS-2016-2017, topic SFS-44-2016. Chinese groups are supported by the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture (MOST).

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Correspondence to B. Julier .

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Julier, B. et al. (2018). Breeding Forage and Grain Legumes to Increase EU’s and China’s Protein Self-sufficiency. In: Brazauskas, G., Statkevičiūtė, G., Jonavičienė, K. (eds) Breeding Grasses and Protein Crops in the Era of Genomics. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-89578-9_18

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