Directory of Legume Projects

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AcronymFull nameKeywordsWebsiteStarting dateEnd dateCoordinatorContactCoordination institutionPartner InstitutionsProject typeFundingSelected publicationsSummary
ABSTRESSImproving the resistance of legume crops to combined abiotic and biotic stressLegumes, Pisum sativum (pea), fusarium, drought, plant signallingsite2012-01-012016-12-31Adrian ChartonAdrian Charton ( (UK)Agritec (Czech Rep), Agrovegetal (Spain), Arterra (Italy), BTG (Itlay), CNRS (France), CSIC (Spain), FERA (UK), GenXPro (Germany), INRA (France), NAIK (Hungary), PGRO (UK), UAber (UK), UESSEX (UK), International projectsEuropean Union, FP7-KBBE-2011-5-289562
  • Bani M, Rubiales D, Rispail N (2012) A detailed evaluation method to identify sources of quantitative resistance to Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. pisi race 2 within a Pisum spp. germplasm collection. Plant Pathology 61, 532-542
  • Rispail N, Rubiales D (2014) Identification of sources of quantitative resistance to Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. medicaginis in Medicago truncatula. Plant Disease 98, 667-673.
  • Rispail N, Bani M, Rubiales D (2015) Resistance reaction of Medicago truncatula genotypes to Fusarium oxysporum: effect of plant age, substrate and inoculation method. Crop & Pasture Science 66, 506-515.
  • Rispail N, Rubiales D (2015). Rapid and efficient estimation of pea resistance to the soil-borne pathogen Fusarium oxysporum by infrared imaging. Sensors 15, 3988-4000.
  • Catillejo MA, Bani M, Rubiales D (2015) Understanding pea resistance mechanisms in response to Fusarium oxysporum through proteomic analysis. Phytochemistry 115, 44-58
ABSTRESS was a five-year project set to revolutionise the way in which new plant varieties are produced. It was led by The Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) and involves 12 national and international partners. The aim of the project was to use state-of-the-art plant breeding and genetic tools to produce crops with greater drought and/or disease tolerance. The focus of the project was be legumes, but the principles developed will also be demonstrated in other crops such as tomato.

Legume crops are essential for the future of European agriculture. EU grown legumes have a key role as a sustainable source of protein in both human and animal diets. Importantly, European crops such as peas (Pisum sativum) can replace imported soybeans, which currently represent over 75% of feedstock protein in the EU.

Legumes don’t require, and reduce the need in other crops, for nitrogen fertilisers which are a major source of greenhouse gases and farm energy consumption.

Currently the yield of legume crops is severely undermined by both drought and fungal infection (Fusarium oxysporum). Fusarium is a soil borne pathogen that causes a disease which wilts infected plants. The damage it causes is compounded during drought conditions. The prevalence of this economically devastating fungal disease is predicted to increase due to climate change.

Aims of Abstress

- To develop crops that have increased resistance to drought (abiotic) and Fusarium (biotic) stress and still produce a good yield. This is important in ensuring future food security, whilst mitigating the effects of climate change.
- Significantly reduce the time taken to breed new crop varieties that are more able to withstand the challenges commonly associated with climate change, such as extreme weather and changing incidence of pests and diseases.
- Improve the accessibility of modern breeding techniques within the European Union and in association with partners across the world.
BIOSOYCOATDevelopment of innovative biodegradable soybean seed coating based on biopolymers from renewable raw materials for better tolerance of plants to adverse environmental conditionsGlycine max (soybean; soya bean), seed coating, biopolymer compositions, adverse environmental conditions, low temperature stress2017-04-012020-06-30Ewa KopaniaGrażyna Korbecka-Glinka (Łukasiewicz Research Network - Institute of Biopolymers and Chemical FibresInstitute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation – State Research Institute (IUNG-PIB), University of Rzeszów, Naukowo Badawcze Centrum Rozwoju Soi AgeSoya Sp. z o.o.National projectsNational Centre for Research and Development, programme BIOSTRATEG
  • Olszak-Przybys, H.; Korbecka-Glinka, G.; Czubacka, A.; Patkowska, E. (2021) Identification of fungi inhabiting underground plant parts of soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merrill] in two developmental stages. Acta Scientiarum Polonorum Hortorum Cultus 20, in press.
  • Korbecka-Glinka, G.; Wiśniewska-Wrona, M.; Kopania, E. (2021) The use of natural polymers for treatments enhancing sowing material. POLIMERY, 66, 11-20 (in Polish, abstract in English), DOI:
  • Jarecki, W. (2020) Reaction of soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] to seed inoculation with Bradyrhizobium japonicum bacteria. Plant, Soil and Environment 66, 242-247, DOI:
  • Jarecki, W.; Buczek, J.; Jańczak-Pieniążek, M. (2020) Soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) response to commercial inoculation with Bradyrhizobium japonicum. Applied Ecology and Environmental Research 18, 6713-6724, DOI:
  • Jarecki, W.; Bobrecka-Jamro, D. (2019) Influence of seed inoculation with commercial bacterial inoculants (Bradyrhizobium japonicum) on growth and yield of soybean. Legume Research - an International Journal 42(5), 688-693. DOI:
The aim of the project was to develop biodegradable and environmentally friendly seed coating based on renewable biopolymer compositions, protecting soybean seeds against adverse weather conditions. Low temperature of the soil affects the sown seeds by extending the germination process thereby making the seedlings more vulnerable to infections by soil-borne pathogenic fungi. Therefore, this project aimed at developing a seed coating which would show a high mechanical integrity in low temperatures and prevent beginning of the germination process in unfavourable conditions.

Several two-layer compositions were prepared using polymers or mixtures of polymers with vaxes. These compositions contained natural polymers from the group of polysaccharides with high bioactivity. The compositions selected for coating soybean seeds showed suitable chemical, physical and rheological properties and also the desired thermal performance. Applying them on the seeds has led to obtaining homogenous seed coatings with a thickness of 3-5µm. The protective effect of the seed coatings was verified by germination tests of the coated and uncoated seeds in the controlled conditions. In addition, biodegradation tests in a soil environment and life cycle assessment (LCA) were performed for the developed seed coatings. The effectiveness of the new seed coatings was verified in field experiments which showed that the seed coatings contribute to higher emergence and yield of soybean. Project implementation is carried out by „AgeSoya” company and it will be done by launching the production and sale of the coated soybean seeds.

The outcomes of Biosoycoat project include also data on resistance of soybean cultivars and breeding lines which was assessed in inoculation tests with fungal pathogens. Moreover, in the field experiments, monitoring of pests and diseases was performed. In addition, a comparison of the influence of different, commercially available bacterial inoculants on soybean yield was studied. These research tasks provided data for scientific publications and agricultural practice.

CGIAR Genebank PlatformConservation and utilisation of crops including cowpea, soybeab, Bambar groundnut and African yam beanConservation and utilisation of genetic resourcessite2017-01-012021-12-01Global Crop Diversity Trust Michael Abberton ( TrustCGIAR Centre sLarge international projectCGIAR and Global Crop Diversity Trust Conservation and utilisation of world cowpea collection and international collections of Bambara groundnut, African yambean and other underutilised legumes
Common vetch genetic diversityGenomic Characterizatıon of Some Vetch (Vicia Ssp.) Lines Provided From Various Resources by Using Molecular Means and Determination of Some Morphological, Phenological and Agronomic Chracteristics under Kahramanmaras Conditions.Vicia spp (vetch), nuclear DNA content, genome, SSRs, SRAPs2006-12-012019-12-01iskender Tiryakitiryaki46@yahoo.comKahramanmaras Sutcu Imam University NoNational projectsTÜBİTAK
  • Yildiz Tiryaki, G., Cil, A. and Tiryaki, I. (2016). Revealing Seed Coat Colour Variation and Their Possible Association with Seed Yield Parameters in Common Vetch (Vicia sativa L.). International Journal of Agronomy, vol. 2016, Article ID 1804108, 10 pages, 2016. doi:10.1155/2016/1804108.
  • Çil, A. and Tiryaki, I. (2016). Sequence-related amplified polymorphism and inter-simple sequence repeat marker-based genetic diversity and nuclear DNA content variation in common vetch (Vicia sativa L.). Plant Genetic Resources: Characterization and Utilization, 14(3); 183–191. doi:10.1017/S1479262115000210
  • Tiryaki, I. and Tuna, M. (2012). Determination of intraspesific nuclear DNAcontent variation in common vetch (Vicia sativa L.) lines and cultivars based on two distinct internal reference standards. Turk. J. Agric. For., 36(6):645-653.
Animal production level is not satisfactory in Turkey because of insufficient animal food resources. This problem is present and being discussed for a long time. Turkey, geographically overlapped between Mediterranean and Near East gene centre, has a very special status for presenting such rich plant diversity and for bearing center of many crop plant origins. Such diversity within and between vetch species is also available in this landscape. Sensitivity and interest in plant genetic resources are increasing day by day. However, molecular, morphological and pheological characterizations of available genetic resources should be completed to benefit from these genetic resources in various ways. Primarily, characterization of economically important crops are required to gain from these available diverse genetic resources at the DNA level in a breeding program.

The objectives of this study are: (1) to determine phylogenetic relationship of some vetch lines collected from natural flora or provided from national and international genetic resources by using DNA based marker sistems, (2) to reveal nuclear DNA content of genetic material so that available information can be used to determine ploidy level and genome structure and relationship, and (3) to identify the best line(s) under Kahramanmaras conditions by determining morphological, phenological and agronomic characters.

The results of this study will provide a better scientific understanding on the genetic relationship among vetch lines supplied from various resources. The results will also be useful for regional and domestic breeding progammes aimed to develop new vetch lines. Finally, performance of the genetic material used in this study will be tested and will lead to determine the best line(s) under Kahramanmaras conditions.
CropExploreCropExplore: Exploration of alternative raw materials for the food sectornutritional qualities, functionality, local productionsite2018-02-012022-01-31Margaux LeemansMargaux.leemans@flandersfood.comFlanders'Food (Belgium)ILVO (Belgium), KULeuven (Belgium) UGent (Belgium)National projectsVis-project Vlaio Flemish GovernmentThe aim of this project is to arrive at a wealth of available and new information in a knowledge matrix of at least 150 known and less known crops/raw materials. This knowledge matrix will contain a very extensive 'technical data sheet' of each crop and the raw materials derived from it, with information on the nutritional composition (macro- and micro level), agro-economic properties (cultivation properties, ecological properties, availability), functional properties (taste, behaviour in water, enzymatic activity) and application possibilities. Protein crops such as legumes are an important focus in CropExplore.
DARISeed yield stability of new Desi type chickpea genotypes across environmentsDrought tolerance, Participatory Variety Selection (PVS), Variety releasesite2017-01-012021-01-01Homayoun KanouniHomayoun Kanouni ( (Iran)DARI(Iran), ICRISAT(India)National projectsstate funding
  • Hiva Seyedimoradi H, Talebi R, Kanouni H, Naji AM, Karami E (2019) Agro-morphological description, genetic diversity and population structure of chickpea using genomic-SSR and ESR-SSR molecular markers. Journal of Plant Biochemistry and Biotechnology 28, pages483–495(2019)
Evaluation of Desi type chickpea landraces in order to select high yielding and drought tolerant genotypes and release new cultivars.
DemoNetErBoEstablishment of a knowledge transfer network for cultivation and utilisation of field peas and field beans in GermanyPisum sativum (pea), Vicia faba (faba bean; vetch), network, value chainssite2016-01-012020-12-31Ulrich QuendtUlrich Quendt ( Landwirtschaft Hessen (LLH)Federal States, University Soest, University Hamburg, Naturland, Bioland National projectsGerman Federal Ministery of Food and Agriculture under the Federal Protein Crop Strategy
  • U. Quendt et al (2016): Demonstration and knowledge transfer network for expanding and improving cultivation and utilisation for field peas and beans in Germany. https://www.demoneterbo.agrarpraxisforschung/index.php?id=336
  • W. Vogt-Kaute, I. Jacob, U. Quendt (2019): Strategies for production of organic winter peas in Germany and Austria, in: Third International Legume Society Confernenc, Poznan, Book of abstracts, p 39
Network with 75 conventional as well as organic farmers for knowledge transfer. Building up of value chains for feed and food spanning all levels from breeding until the usage by the comsumer.
EUFABAFaba bean breeding is sustainable agricultureVicia faba (faba bean; vetch), quality, yield, adaptation, disease resistance, drought tolerance, winter hardiness, marker assisted selectionsite2003-01-012005-12-31Diego RubialesDiego Rubiales ( (Czech Rep), Agrovegetal (Spain), CSIC (Spain), DGBB (Italy), GIE-feverole (France), Gleisdorf (Austria), INRA (France), JPIB (estonia), NPZ (Germany), Toft (Denmark), UCO (Spain), UNIGOE (Germany), UoW (UK), International projectsEuropean Union, FP5, QLK5-CT-2002-02307
  • Khan HB, Link W, Hocking TJ, Stoddard FL (2007) Evaluation of physiological traits for improving drought tolerance in faba bean (Vicia faba L.). Plant Soil 292, 205–217. DOI 10.1007/s11104-007-9217-5
  • Arbaoui M, Balko C, Link W (2007) Study of faba bean (Vicia faba L.) winter-hardiness anddevelopment of screening methods. Field Crops Research 106, 60–67.doi:10.1016/j.fcr.2007.10.015
  • Arbaoui M, Wolfgang L, Satovic Z, Torres AM (2008) Quantitative trait loci of frost tolerance and physiologically related trait in faba bean (Vicia faba L.). Euphytica DOI 10.1007/s10681-008-9654-0
  • Torres AM, Román B, Avila C, Satovic Z, Rubiales D, Sillero JC, Cubero JI, Moreno MT (2006) Faba bean breeding for resistance against biotic stresses: towards application of marker technology. Euphytica 147, 67-80.
  • Sillero JC, Fondevilla S, Davidson J, Vaz Patto MC, Warkentin TD, Thomas J, Rubiales D (2006). Screening techniques and sources of resistance to rusts and mildews in grain legumes. Euphytica 147, 255-272.
  • Villegas-Fernández AM, Sillero JC, Emeran AA, Winkler J, Raffiot B, Tay J, Flores F, Rubiales D (2009). Identification and multi-environment validation of resistance to Botrytis fabae in Vicia faba. Field Crops Research 114, 84-90.
  • Rubiales D, Avila CM, Sillero JC, Hybl M, Narits L, Sass O and Flores F (2012). Identification and multi-environment validation of resistance to Ascochyta fabae in faba bean (Vicia faba). Field Crops Research 126, 165-170.
  • Flores F, Nadal S, Solis I, Winkler J, Sass O, Stoddard FL, Link W, Raffiot B, Muel F and Rubiales D (2012). Faba bean adaptation to autumn sowing under European climates. Agronomy for Sustainable Development 32, 727-734.
This joint European initiative evaluated currently and previously grown faba bean varieties for characteristics of importance to sustainable agriculture and applied novel methods of marker-assisted genetic improvement to construct enhanced faba bean genotypes.
Priority was be given to the combination of increased yield, digestibility, nutritional quality and resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses, thus allowing for the production of a leguminous crop of high value in European crop rotations of low input and stable yields.
Since the climatological conditions, farming systems and importance of abiotic and biotic constraints vary from one area to another, different ideotypes were designed for specific European regions.

This was be achieved by:

(i) Evaluation of current and historic faba bean varieties for characteristics of importance to sustainable agriculture in order to define the desired phenotypes suitable for each European area

(ii) Development of new and reliable screening methods for the most relevant biotic stresses in order to identify new sources of resistance and characterise the resistance mechanisms.

(iii) Identification and study of the inheritance of frost resistance, winter hardiness and drought tolerance in multilocation field trials and laboratory experiments.

(iv) Development of fast and cheap screening methods for anti-nutritional factors (tannins and vicine-convicine) in order to identify lines of interest with high protein content, free of anti-nutritional compounds

(v) Development of molecular maps in RILs populations of Vicia faba in order to locate genes and QTLs controlling resistance, nutritional factors and other yield components.
EXTRULEGDevelopment of legumes and cereals based extruded products foods fortified with dietary fiber. Nutritional impact. Prevention of childhood overweight and obesity.extrusion, snacks, pasta, gluten-free, bioactive compounds, pea bean2013-05-012017-08-30Mercedes Martín PedrosaMercedes Martin Pedrosa ( (Spain)CSIC (Spain); IRTA (Spain)National projectsSpanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness
  • Arribas, C, Cabellos, B, Sánchez, C, Cuadrado, C, Guillamón, E, Pedrosa, MM (2017).Impact of extrusion on nutritional composition, dietary fiber and in vitro digestibility of gluten-free snacks based on rice, pea and carob flours blends. Food and Function, 8: 3654-3663.!divAbstract
  • Arribas, C; Cabellos, B., Cuadrado, C., Guillamón, E., Pedrosa, M.M. (2019). The effect of extrusion on the bioactive compounds and antioxidant capacity of novel-gluten-free expanded products based on carob fruit, pea and rice blends. Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies. 52: 100–107.
  • Claudia Arribas, Eliana Pereira, Lillian Barros, Maria Jose Alves, Ricardo C. Calhelha, Eva Guillamon, Mercedes M. Pedrosa, Isabel C.F.R. Ferreira (2019). Healthy novel gluten-free formulations based on beans, carob fruit and rice: Extrusion effect on organic acids, tocopherols, phenolic compounds and bioactivity. Food Chemistry 292: 304-313.
  • Arribas, C; Cabellos, B., Cuadrado, C., Guillamón, E., Pedrosa, M.M (2019). Extrusion effect on proximate composition, starch and dietary fibre of ready-to-eat products based on rice fortified with carob fruit and bean. LWT- Food Science and Technology 111: 387-393. .
  • Claudia Arribas, Blanca Cabellos, Carmen Cuadrado, Eva Guillamón, Mercedes M. Pedrosa (2019). Bioactive compounds, antioxidant activity and sensory analysis of rice-based extruded snacks-like fortified with bean and carob fruit flours. Foods 8: 381-393.
Despite the progress toward assuring the health of today’s young population, the twenty-first century began with an epidemic of childhood obesity. The FAO / WHO warns that Spain is the country with the highest rates of obesity among European preadolescent (7-11 years) and ranks second in the group between 14-17 years. There is a general agreement that preventing obesity in childhood is the key to addressing the global obesity epidemic. So, the development of targeted food to children, particularly those with overweight or obesity, is an area with great interest. These foods should contribute to a lower energy intake, changing its composition and / or producing a greater sense of satiety. Legumes are a good source of dietary fiber and bioactive compounds (phytochemicals). The epidemiological data shows the benefits of legume consumption on human health such as in the prevention and / or treatment of some chronic diseases as type 2 diabetes or hypercholesterolemia. The extrusion/cooking is a versatile technology (HTST) that transforms different raw materials in food products cooked, stable, with a clear improvement of their attributes such as texture and flavor. Because of its great flexibility is used in the food industry to produce cereal, pastries, cakes, pasta, etc.
FABA-SHAPEUnveiling the Origins of the Faba Bean by means of Shape and Stable Carbon Isotope Analyses of Archaeological RemainsVicia faba (faba bean; vetch), origin, domestication, dispersion in Eurasia, archaeobotanysite2019-02-012021-04-30Valentina Caracutavalentina.caracuta@umontpellier.frISEM (France)CNRSInternational projects European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the MARIE SKŁODOWSKA-CURIE grant (N.792373)Among these early food crops, the faba bean played a major role because it has one of the longest established traditions of cultivation, having been domesticated more than ten thousand years ago, and is a staple resource in many countries. The thousands of faba beans that are preserved in archaeological contexts from prehistory to the pre-modern era attest to faba’s importance to early sedentary communities.

Despite its importance, little is known about the faba bean’s origins. All living varieties are fully domesticated and no wild representatives of this species or any closely related species have been found. One way to solve the enigma of the faba bean’s origins is to look at the archaeological remains found in the prehistoric villages where hunter-gatherers and early farmers settled and to search for clues to the legume’s original geographical distribution, the ecological requirements of its pre-domesticated forms and the changes induced by geographical isolation and human selection. Tracing the spread of the faba bean from its original centers of domestication is crucial to understanding the impact of adaptation to new ecological settings on morphometric and, indirectly, genetic traits.

The information obtained as a result of this project will serve as a basis for agronomists and plant breeders seeking to search the genome of primitive landraces for useful mutations that can improve the resistance of the faba bean to drought and pests. More stable yields will reduce the risk of famine for human communities who depend on faba beans for their subsistence.
LeGeReTeLEgume GEnetic REsources as a tool for the development of innovative and sustainable food TEchnological system. Legume Genetic Resources, chemical composition, nutritional characterization, legume flours, in-vivo healthy assessment, Legume based foods, bakery products, protein concentrate from legume, LCAsite2017-01-012020-09-01Carmine Summo and Riccardo GuidettiCarmine Summo ( and UNIMI (Italy)UNIBA, UNIMI, UNIFG, International projectsAgropolis fondation, Fondazione Cariplo and Fondation Daniel & Nina Carasso Fondation
  • Summo, C., De Angelis, D., Ricciardi, L., Caponio, F., Lotti, C., Pavan, S., & Pasqualone, A. (2019). Nutritional, physico-chemical and functional characterization of a global chickpea collection. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 84, 103306.
  • De Angelis D., Madodé Y.E., Briffaz A., Hounhouigan D.J., Pasqualone A., Summo C. Comparing the quality of two traditional fried street foods from the raw material to the end-product: the Beninese cowpea-based ata and the Italian wheat-based popizza. Legume Science,
  • Pasqualone, A., De Angelis, D., Squeo, G., Difonzo, G., Caponio, F., & Summo, C. (2019). The effect of the addition of Apulian black chickpea flour on the nutritional and qualitative properties of durum wheat-based bakery products. Foods, 8(10), 504.
  • Pavan S, Bardaro N, Fanelli V, Marcotrigiano AR, Mangini G, Taranto F, Catalano D, Montemurro C, De Giovanni C, Lotti C, Ricciardi L (2019) Genotyping by sequencing of cultivated lentil (Lens culinaris Medik.) highlights population structure in the mediterranean gene pool associated with geographic patterns and phenotypic variables. Frontiers in Genetics 10:872.
  • Casson, A., Giovenzana, V., Beghi, R., Tugnolo, A., Guidetti, R. (2019). Environmental Impact Evaluation of Legume-based Burger and Meat Burger. Chemical Engineering Transactions, 75, 229-234;
  • Summo C., De Angelis D., Ricciardi L., Caponio F., Lotti C., Pavan S., Pasqualone A. (2019). Data on the chemical composition, bioactive compounds, fatty acid composition, physico-chemical and functional properties of a global chickpea collection. DATA IN BRIEF, vol. 27, 104602.
  • Summo C., De Angelis D., Rochette I., Mouquet-Rivier C., Pasqualone A. Influence of the preparation process on the chemical composition and nutritional value of canned purée of beige and black chickpeas. Heliyon. (2019) DOI: 2405-8440/2019
The goals of the project proposal are: (i) the identification and valorization of genotypes with high agronomical, technological, and nutritional value; (ii) the evaluation of the selected genotypes for their potentially beneficial effects on human health; (iii) the development of technological applications of the selected genotypes through the development of innovative legume-based foods with high service value, able to induce the increase of legume consumption; (iv) the research of possible applications of legume flours and protein extracts as food ingredients or additives. In particular, a germplasm collection of about 400 accessions of different legume species (chickpea, pea, faba bean and lentil), have been subjected to a first mild selection derive from general information on accessions (including origin and importance in local economy) and their evaluation in field trials, based on general agronomic traits and suitability to low-input sustainable agricultural systems. Patterns of genetic diversity in these accessions have been detected by means of microsatellite markers and genotyping-by-sequencing, a cutting-edge technology for the detection of DNA polymorphisms (Elshire et al., 2011). This is meant to carry out a second selection on the accessions, aimed to bring to the next stage those representing most of the genetic diversity. Information on the genetic diversity have been merged with phenotypic screenings addressed to the characterization of germplasm with respect to technological properties, chemical composition and nutritional aspects, in order to detect genomic region and alleles underlying traits of interest to reach the project goals. 200 selected accessions have been characterized in term of chemical, nutritional and technological properties of the flours and protein extracts and, on the accessions characterized by high nutritional values, the assessment of the potential beneficial effect by “in vitro” and "in vivo" approaches have been also carried out. On the base of the chemical, nutritional, heathy and technological properties, technological applications through the development of innovative legume-based foods with high service value and the research of possible applications of legume flours and protein extracts as food ingredients or additives have been carried out. The possibility to use legumes in the production of several food types, as main but not exclusive ingredient, can improve the nutritional profile of legumes. In the formulation of ready-to-eat or ready-to-cook legume-based products the mix of legumes and cereals, which have different limiting amino acids, have been chosen (Summo et al., 2016). All the proposed solution will be objectively evaluated by means of specific environmental and economic indicators (through LCA, LCC and other methods) as regards their real transferability and their contribute to the sustainability of the system.
LegumeGapIncreasing productivity and sustainability of European plant protein production by closing the grain legume yield gapVicia faba (faba bean; vetch), Glycine max (soybean; soya bean), yield gap, protein self-sufficiency, agronomy, breeding, cropping systems, environmental impactssite2019-04-012022-03-31Frederick StoddardFrederick Stoddard ( of Helsinki (Finland)HUB (Germany), INRAE (France), LLU (Latvia), RAGT (France), SRUC (UK), UdL (Spain), UPWR (Poland), VUA (Netherlands), ZALF (Germany)International projects1.800.000 €Legumes contribute to protein self-sufficiency, diversification of cropping systems and farm businesses, reduction in fertilizer and pesticide use and greenhouse gas emissions, sustainable diets, and prevention of land degradation and biodiversity loss. Nevertheless, grain legume production in Europe is low due to inadequate investment in breeding, sub-optimal management practices, and gaps in farmers’ knowledge. To ensure food and nutritional security under climate change and reduce pressures on natural resources, the potential of legumes must be fully utilized.
The LegumeGap project will identify the potential contribution of new cultivars, optimal management practices and farmers’ knowledge in closing the yield gap, reducing the observed yield variability and EU-level protein shortfall, and optimizing the environmental performance of legume production in Europe. We will focus on faba bean and soya bean, due to their usefulness, adaptability and high seed protein concentration.
A systems approach will take into account biophysical and socio-economic limitations, opportunities, and their interaction. The combination of modelling, field experiments, a large-scale farmer survey, and data analysis, will allow us to identify and recommend ways by which the potential of these two crops can be maximized.
Ten partners from eight countries will use their expertise to achieve the following objectives:
- Model the yield potential of faba and soya bean under different climatic, cultivar, and management assumptions, in a variety of EU sites and upscaled to the EU level.
- Develop optimal management practices.
- Analyse the components and underlying factors of the legume yield gap in order to propose appropriate interventions to close the gaps.
- Using a large-scale farmer survey, explore the influence of farmers’ knowledge on yield gaps.
- Evaluate the potential and trade-offs of legume production at the field and EU scales.
- Maximize the outreach and valorization of project outputs.
LegValueFostering sustainable legume-based farming systems and agri-feed and food chains in the EUagronomy, value chain, market, ecophysiology, policies, transition path, feed food and processingssite2018-06-012021-05-31Frederic Muelf.muel@terresinovia.frTerres InoviaINRA (France), University of Bologna (Italy), Wageningen Research (The Netherlands), Fachhochschule Südwestfalen (Germany), PGRO Research Limited (UK), INRA Transfert (France), Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (Switzerland), Wageningen University (The Netherlands), Universität Hamburg (Germany), Chambre Régionale d’Agriculture de Normandie (France), Institut für Lebensmittel- und Umweltforschung eV (Germany), VALOREX SAS (France), AICF Agro Inovação (Portugal), Instituto Nacional de Investigação Agrária e Veterinária (Portugal), Terres Univia (France), ADAS UK Limited (UK), Latvian Rural Advisory and Training Centre (Latvia), Roskilde Universitet (Denmark), Association de coordination technique pour l’industrie agroalimentaire (France), Scuola superiore di studi universitari e di perfezionamento Sant’Anna (Italy), Università di Pisa (Italy), Lietuvos agrariniu ir misku mokslucentras (Lithuania)Large international project5000000 €The LegValue project, coordinated by Terres Inovia, aims to promote the development of sustainable and competitive agriculture, through agricultural systems based on legumes for animal and human consumption in the European Union.

To this end, the project will evaluate the agronomic, economic and environmental advantages of producing and using legumes, in both conventional and organic agriculture.

This is a very large European network, based on 24 farm networks and 31 sector case studies, including the subsistence, local and national value chains.
LENSBREEDEvaluation and breeding of lentil landraces and cultivars for special agronomic, physiological and quality traitsLens; Landraces; Yield; Quality; Wide/Special Adaptability; Varietiessite2018-07-082021-12-31Dimitrios VlachostergiosDimitrios Vlachostergios ( of Industrial and Forage Crops (Greece)AUTH (Greece), Alfa Seeds Co (Greece), DUTH (Greece)National projectsEuropean Union and Greek national funds through the Operational Program Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, under the call RESEARCH – CREATE – INNOVATE (project code:T1EDK-04633)
  • Vlachostergios D.N., C. Tzantarmas, A. Kargiotidou, E. Ninou, C. Pankou, C. Gaintatzi, I. Mylonas, I. Papadopoulos, C. Foti, E. K. Chatzivassiliou, E. Sinapidou, A. Lithourgidis, I.S. Tokatlidis. 2018. Single-plant selection within lentil landraces at ultra-low density: a short-time tool to breed high yielding and stable varieties across divergent environments. Euphytica. 214:58, doi:10.1007/s10681-018-2139-x.
  • Vlachostergios D. N. and D.G. Roupakias. 2017. Screening under low-plant density reinforces the identification of lentil plants with resistance to fusarium wilt. Crop Science, 57(3), p. 1285-1294
  • Tokatlidis, I. and D. Vlachostergios. 2016. Sustainable Stewardship of the Landrace Diversity. Diversity 2016, 8, 29; DOI:10.3390/d8040029
Lentil is a traditional and important crop in Greece. The dietary value of lentil is gaining recognition, while a remarkable shift of consumers is attributed to its high nutritional and culinary value. The choice of the suitable cultivar is among the major reasons of high yield and quality. Nowadays, commercial cultivars are mainly cultivated, whereas there is a significant number of lentil landraces with special agronomic, physiological and quality traits. The soil and the climatic conditions play a key role in the production and quality of the final product, although their interaction with the genotype has yet not been thoroughly explored.
The scope of the project includes: a) On farm stewardship of lentil populations with the aim of upgrading initial populations and parallel selection for the development of pure lentil lines, b) Exploration of the intra-cultivar variability of the lentil commercial cultivar SAMOS with the goal to achieve genetic purity and its upgrading in terms of certain agronomic, physiological and quality traits, c) Multiplication and evaluation of lentil landrace collections for productivity and quality characteristics, d) Employment of modern molecular genetics methodologies for the improvement of lentil landraces and varieties for qualitative characteristics e) Determination of locations /areas suitable for high quality and lentil yield according to their special pedo-climatic conditions.
The stewardship and breeding of the available genetic material will be carried out through field trials in three locations exploiting the advantage of selecting in the absence of interplant competition. At the same time, the genetic material will be evaluated for qualitative traits (morphological, physicochemical, organoleptic), while on the selected from field experimentation genotypes, genomic sequencing technologies will be implemented for targeting specific seed quality characteristics. Locations/areas suitable for lentil cultivation will be identified through the establishment of an extensive multi-location assessment network with field experiments. All treatments are applied under conventional and organic farming conditions.
LUPIN-CHALLENGECharacterization of Lupin Beta-Conglutin Seed Proteins with a Focus on Health Benefits and their Role in AllergenicityLupin seed proteins, lupin seed nutraceuticals, conglutin proteins, health benefits, Functional Foods, lupin seed allergen proteins, food allergy, lupin molecular allergy, therapy and diagnosissite2012-08-012015-07-31Jose C. Jimenez-LopezJose C. Jimenez-Lopez ( (Spain)Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), The University of Western Australia (UWA)International projectsFP7-PEOPLE-2011-IOF - Marie Curie Action
  • Lima-Cabello E, Alche V, Foley RC, Andrikopoulos S, Morahan G, Singh KB, Alche JD, Jimenez-Lopez JC*. (2017). Narrow-leafed lupin (Lupinus angustifolius L.) β-conglutin proteins modulate the insulin signaling pathway as potential type 2 diabetes treatment and inflammatory-related disease amelioration. MOLECULAR NUTRITION AND FOOD RESEARCH 61(5).
  • Lima-Cabello E, Morales-Santana S, Foley RC, Melser S, Alché V, Siddique KHM, Singh KB, Alché JD, Jimenez-Lopez JC*. (2018). Ex vivo and in vitro assessment of anti-inflammatory activity of seed β-conglutin proteins from Lupinus angustifolius. JOURNAL OF FUNCTIONAL FOODS 40: 510-519
  • Lima-Cabello E, Morales-Santana S, León J, Alché V, Clemente A, Alché JD, Jimenez-Lopez JC*. (2018). Narrow-leafed lupin (Lupinus angustifolius L.) seed β-conglutins reverse the induced insulin resistance in pancreatic cells. FOOD & FUNCTION 9(10): 5176-5188.
  • Jimenez-Lopez JC*. (2020). Narrow‐leafed lupin (Lupinus angustifolius L.) β‐conglutin: A multifunctional family of proteins with roles in plant defence, human health benefits, and potential uses as functional food. LEGUME SCIENCE e33.
  • Lima-Cabello E, Alché JD, Morales-Santana S, Clemente A, Jimenez-Lopez JC. (2019). Narrow-Leafed Lupin (Lupinus angustifolius L.) Seeds Gamma-Conglutin is an Anti-Inflammatory Protein Promoting Insulin Resistance Improvement and Oxidative Stress Amelioration in PANC-1 Pancreatic Cell-Line. ANTIOXIDANTS 9(1): E12.
  • Jimenez-Lopez JC, Foley RC, Brear E, Clarke VC, Lima-Cabello E, Florido JF, Singh KB, Alché JD, Smith PMC. (2018). Characterization of narrow-leaf lupin (Lupinus angustifolius L.) recombinant major allergen IgE-binding proteins and the natural β-conglutin counterparts in sweet lupin seed species. FOOD CHEMISTRY 244: 60-70.
  • Lima-Cabello E, Alché JD, Jimenez-Lopez JC*. (2019). Narrow-Leafed Lupin Main Allergen β-Conglutin (Lup an 1) Detection and Quantification Assessment in Natural and Processed Foods. FOODS 8(10): E513.
  • Jimenez-Lopez JC, Melser S, DeBoer K, Thatcher LF, Kamphuis LG, Foley RC, Singh KB. (2016). Narrow-Leafed Lupin (Lupinus angustifolius) β1- and β6-Conglutin Proteins Exhibit Antifungal Activity, Protecting Plants against Necrotrophic Pathogen Induced Damage from Sclerotinia sclerotiorum and Phytophthora nicotianae. FRONTIERS IN PLANT SCIENCE 7: 1856.
Diabetes and Obesity (Diabesity) is a growing worldwide epidemic, with more than 285 million people suffering this disease in the world, and is difficult to eradicate due to increasing unhealthy lifestyles.
Lupins, and in particular, Lupinus angustifolius (L.), also known as narrow-leaf lupin (NLL), are getting more and more recognition for multiple benefits, since lupin grains are a potential human health food, with specific nutritional attributes, highly beneficial for agriculture, and also with important pharmaceutical attributes.
As is the case for many legumes, seed proteins from lupin species can potentially contribute to food allergy. The prevalence of food allergies varies by country, but the highest is among young children between 0-14 years old, affecting over a quarter (26%) of the world’s population.
NLL seed storage proteins (conglutins) are the major class of seed proteins in NLL and they will be analyzed using powerful plant reverse genetic and mouse genetic models (including mice genetically predisposed to obesity), to identify key proteins involved in health attributes of the lupin grain that lead to an increase to an increase in insulin sensitivity and/or reducing appetite. This project will gain in knowledge about the health beneficial attributes of NLL seed storage proteins, helping to develop strategies for diseases prevention by designing an alternative and more healthy and medical beneficial lupin-enriched foods for “Diabesity” treatment. In addition, the project will use different approaches to characterize the lupin conglutin proteins’ allergenic properties, and their role in food allergies and cross-reactivity with different food allergen proteins. The knowledge obtained will help to develop rationale strategies for allergy prevention, allergy diagnosis, and food allergy therapy improvement through diagnosis kits and vaccine development.
MEDILEGBreeding, agronomic and biotechnological approaches for reintegration and re-valorisation of legumes in Mediterranean agricultureCicer arietinum (chickpea), common bean, Vicia faba (faba bean; vetch), Lens culinaris (lentil), Pisum sativum (pea), yield, biotic stresses, epidemiology, integrated pest management, marker-assisted selectionsite2012-08-012015-07-31Diego RubialesDiego Rubiales ( (Egypt), CSIC (Spain), CRRGG (Tunisia), ENSA (Algeria), IAV (Morocco), INRA (France), INRAM (Morocco), INRAT (Tunisia), ITQB (Portugal), UNINA (Italy)International projectsFP7-ARIMNet
  • Prudent, Vernoud, Girodet, Salon (2016) How nitrogen fixation is modulated in response to different water availability levels and during recovery: a structural and functional study at the whole plant level. Plant and Soil 399, 1-12
  • Laloi, Montarry, Guibert, Andrivon, Michot, Le May (2016) Aggressiveness changes over time in populations of Didymella pinodes over winter and spring pea cropping seasons. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 82, 4330-4339.
  • Ennami, Briache, Gaboun, Abdelwahd, Ghaouti, Belqadi, Westwood, Mentag (2017) Host differentiation and variability of Orobanche crenata populations from legume species in Morocco as revealed by cross-infestation and molecular analysis.Pest Manag Sci. 73, 1753–1763
  • Iglesias-García R, Prats E, Flores F, Amri M, Mikic A, Rubiales D (2017) Assessment of field pea (Pisum sativum L.) grain yield, aerial biomass and flowering date stability in Mediterranean environments. Crops & Pasture Science 68, 915-923,
  • Rubiales, D, Flores F, Emeran AA, Kharrat M, Amri M, Rojas-Molina MM, Sillero JC (2014). Identification and multi-environment validation of resistance against broomrapes (Orobanche crenata and O. foetida) in faba bean (Vicia faba). Field Crops Research 166, 58-65.
  • Cimmino A, Fernández-Aparicio M, Andolfi A, Basso S, Rubiales D, Evidente A (2014) Effect of Fungal and Plant Metabolites on Broomrape (Orobanche and Phelipanche spp.) Seed Germination and Radicle Growth. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 62, 10485-10492
  • Carrillo E, Satovic Z, Aubert G, Boucherot K, Rubiales D, Fondevilla S (2014) Identification of Quantitative Trait Loci and candidate genes for specific cellular resistance responses against Didymella pinodes in pea. Plant Cell Reports 33, 1133-1145.
  • Vaz Patto MC, Rubiales D (2014) Lathyrus diversity: Available resources with relevance to crop improvement. Annals of Botany 113, 895-908doi:10.1093/aob/mcu024
Medileg is a collaborative interdisciplinary initiative proposed to promote grain legume cultivation in Mediterranean countries. It includes biotechnologists, agronomists, plant breeders, crop physiologists, organic chemists and phytopathologists from Algeria, Egypt, France, Italy, Morocco, Portugal, Spain and Tunis.

In this project, our main objective is to stabilize the yield and production of major food legume cultivars adapted to different pedoclimatic conditions encountered in the Mediterranean region. For this purpose, we will use a multidisciplinary, integrated and participatory research including biotechnology, plant breeding, plant physiology, organic chemistry and crop protection in order to identify the best food legume genotypes that can resist disease infection and tolerate drought and salinity and to propose appropriate agronomic practices that may help different grain legumes crops to resist better to this limiting factors.
MSUEARCIntercropping chickpea with flax for yield and Ascochyta disease managementCicer arietinum (chickpea), Flax, Intercropping, Ascochyta, Interspecies Competition, Yield2021-10-012024-09-30Dr. Chengci Chencchen@montana.eduMontana State UniversityMontana State University (United States of America)National projectsUSDA Western SARE
  • Zhou, Y., Crutcher, F. K., Franck, W. L., Franck, S., McPhee, K., Chen, C. The combination of seed treatment and cultivar selection is effective for control of soilborne diseases in chickpea. Crop Protection, 161(1), 106053.
  • Zhou, Y., Chen, C., Franck, W. L., Khan, Q., Franck, S., Crutcher, F. K., McVay, K., McPhee, K. 2023. INTERCROPPING CHICKPEA-FLAX FOR YIELD AND DISEASE MANAGEMENT. Agronomy Journal. DOI: 10.1002/agj2.21280
Chickpea (Cicer arietinum) is the third most produced pulse crop after lentil and dry edible beans in the world. Montana leads the nation in pulse crop (pea, lentil, and chickpea) production. About 70% of nation’s total pulse is produced in Montana. Ascochyta blight, caused by a fungal pathogen Ascochyta rabiei, is the most damaging chickpea disease worldwide which can lead to severe economic losses due to reduced yield and quality. Fungicides have been applied to control Ascochyta blight, however, integration of different techniques is essential for effectively managing this disease, especially in organic production systems where chemical fungicide is not allowed.
Intercropping of multiple species offers many benefits, among those is disease management. We conducted a study to intercrop flax with chickpea as an innovative solution to suppress Ascochyta blight disease in chickpea.
Mutation and Alfalfa Drought ToleranceDevelopment of Drought Tolerant Alfalfa Genotypes (Medicago sativa). Drought, tolerance, mutation, Medicago sativa (alfalfa; lucerne), PEG2016-12-012019-12-01iskender TiryakiCanakkale Onsekiz Mart UniversityNoNoNational projectsTübitak
  • Çetin, S., Sarı, U. ve Tiryaki, İ. (2019). Determination of expression levels of some specific genes in Alflafa (Medicago sativa L.) after first cut grown under drought stress. III. Internatıonal Conference on Awareness, 5-7 December 2019, Çanakkale. Page, 1449. (Oral).
  • Tiryaki, I., Sarı, U., Acar, O., Kaya, C. and Cetin, S. (2019). in vitro Screening of Mutant Medicago sativa Genotypes for Drought Stress Tolerance at Germination Stage. Global Conference on Plant Science and Research, September 23-25, Valencia, Spain. (Oral presentation)
  • Kaya, C., Celep, B. and Tiryaki, I. (2019). Flower and Pollen Variation in Alfalfa (Medicago Sativa L.) M3 Mutants. 1st International Symposium on Biodiversity Research, Çanakkale, Turkey, 2–4 May 2019.
  • Çetin, S., Kaya, Ç., Sarı, U., ve Tiryaki, İ. (2018). Determination of In Vitro screening conditions alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) mutants at germination stage. Uluslararası Tarım, Çevre ve Sağlık Kongresi, 26-28 Ekim 2018. Sayfa 389, Aydın. (Poster).
Although 3-4 years old alfalfa is relatively drought tolerant, it is very vulnerable to drought stress at germination and early seedling growth stages as well as at regrowth stage right after grazing. On the other hand, development of drought tolerant alfalfa varieties by selection or classical crossing is very difficult to due to low heritability of drought tolerance traits and longtime requirement. Introduction of foreign drought tolerant varieties comes along with adaptation and Royalty payment problems. Although it is possible to develop relatively drought tolerant transgenic varieties by applying biotechnological approaches, the acceptance of such crops are still controversial and planting of those crops is not allowed in our country. Therefore, the mutagenesis studies related to development of new drought tolerant alfalfa varieties and release them into the current alfalfa breeding programs become more valuable. The objectives of the present study are (1) to screen M3 mutant seeds to determine drought tolerant alfalfa genotypes at germination and early seedling growth stages and (2) to test drought stress responses of those plants at regrowth stage right after first grazing and to carry those genotypes further into future alfalfa breeding programs. M3 mutant seeds which will be used in this study were generated by Ethyl Methanesulphonate (EMS) mutagen treatment of local variety Bilensoy-80. The mutant M3 seeds will be screened in a half strength root growth MS media containing 35% PEG under aseptic conditions to create drought stress environment in a root growth medium. Tolerant genotypes determined in the screening will be transplanted to pots and then be grown in growth chamber. Plants will be grazed at 5 cm cutting height when the first flowering bud is visible and drought stress will be applied for 18 days. Drought responses of grazed plants will be determined by using morphological, physiological and molecular parameters and be compared with control plants. Development of new drought tolerant alfalfa genotypes at germination and early seedling growth, and right after first grazing will be possible with this study.
Proteine vegetaliIncremento delle produzioni di proteine vegetali per l’alimentazione zootecnica [Increase of feed protein production]cropping systems, grain legumes, quality, perennial legumes, plant breeding, silagesite2020-11-192020-12-31Efisio PianoPaolo Annicchiarico (, Univ. of Milan, Univ. of Turin, CRPA, ARSSANational projectsItalian Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policies
  • Calderini O, Bovone T, Scotti C, Pupilli F, Piano E, Arcioni S (2007) Delay of leaf senescence in Medicago sativa transformed with the ipt gene controlled by the senescence-specific promoter SAG12. Plant Cell Rep 26, 611-615.
  • Annicchiarico P, Iannucci A (2008) Adaptation strategy, germplasm type and adaptive traits for field pea improvement in Italy based on variety responses across climatically contrasting environments. Field Crops Res 108, 133-142.
  • Annicchiarico P (2008) Adaptation of cool-season grain legume species across climatically-contrasting environments of southern Europe. Agron J 100, 1647-1654.
  • Pecetti L, Annicchiarico P, Battini F, Cappelli S (2009) Adaptation of forage legume species and cultivars under grazing in two extensive livestock systems in Italy. Eur J Agronomy 30, 199-204.
  • Annicchiarico P, Harzic N, Carroni AM (2010) Adaptation, diversity, and exploitation of global white lupin (Lupinus albus L.) landrace genetic resources. Field Crops Res 119, 114-124.
This project aimed to increase the production of feed and forage proteins for Italian crop-livestock systems through research actions targeting annual legumes (Lupinus albus, Lupinus angustifolius, Pisum sativum, Vicia faba) and perennial legumes (Medicago sativa, Trifolium subterraneaum, Lotus corniculatus, Trifolium repens, Onobrychis viciifolia) that aimed at (i) assessing the adaptation and feed quality of a large number of grain legume varieties, (ii) optimizing the adoption of species and varieties, and devising breeding strategies, as a function of the target cropping environment and crop utilization, (iii) evaluating genetic resources, (iv) exploring novel strategies for improving protein production and other traits of alfalfa, (v) optimizing the production of high-quality silage of annual legumes, and (vi) assessing the environmental and economic impact of introducing pea and alfalfa into intensive crop rotations.
Pea and white lupin among the feed grain legumes, and alfalfa and bird’s-foot-trefoil as rotationally-grazed crops, exhibited high potential interest for Italian environments. Pea harvested at the waxy stage displayed acceptable silage quality even without inoculation with lactic acid bacteria (unlike faba bean and white lupin), and showed various environmental advantages for intensive systems involving a following summer crop. The extent and pattern of genotype × environment interaction effects supported the breeding for wide adaptation to Italian environments in pea and for specific adaptation to subcontinental- and Mediterranean-climate areas in white lupin and faba bean. The multi-location evaluation of a global collection of white lupin landraces allowed to detect agronomically-outstanding genetic resources. Newly-bred lines of subterranean clover evaluated in Mediterranean-climate pastures exhibited greater forage yield and persistence than commercial varieties. An innovative alfalfa plant morphology with shorter internodes displayed increased forage protein content. Molecular, biochemical and physiological mechanisms affecting alfalfa leaf senescence and seed size were studied, obtaining transgenic material with delayed senescence.
Pulse BreedingMSU Pulse Crop BreedingPisum sativum (pea), Lens culinaris (lentil), Cicer arietinum (chickpea), Breeding, Disease, Quality2019-07-012020-06-30Kevin McPheeKevin McPhee ( State UniversityNDSUNational projectsUSADPLCThis project is focused on development of improved varieties of pulse crops for Montana and neighboring production regions. Agronomic performance, disease resistance and seed quality characters are of primary importance.
REFORMAResilient, water- and energy-efficient forage and feed crops for Mediterranean agricultural systemsdrought tolerance, evolutionary breeding, farmer-participatory research, forage quality, genomic selection, grazing tolerance, intercropping, marker-assisted selection, Medicago sativa (alfalfa; lucerne), Pisum sativum (pea)site2012-09-012016-12-31Paolo (Italy)CNR (Italy), ENSA (Algeria), INRA (France), INRA (Morocco), INRAA (Algeria), IRA (Tunisia), Noble Foundation (USA)International projectsERA-NET (ARIMNet)
  • Annicchiarico P, Nazzicari N, Li X, Wei Y, Pecetti L, Brummer EC (2015) Accuracy of genomic selection for alfalfa biomass yield in different reference populations BMC Genomics 16, 1020.
  • Zaka S, Frak E, Julier B, Gastal F, Louarn G (2016) Intraspecific variation in thermal acclimation of photosynthesis across a range of temperatures in a perennial crop. AoB Plants 8, plw035.
  • Biazzi E, Nazzicari N, Pecetti L, Brummer EC, Palmonari A, Tava A, Annicchiarico P (2017) Genome-wide association mapping and genomic selection for alfalfa (Medicago sativa) forage quality traits. PLoS ONE 12, e0169234.
  • Annicchiarico P, Nazzicari N, Pecetti L, Romani M, Ferrari B, Wei Y, Brummer EC (2017) GBS-based genomic selection for pea grain yield under severe terminal drought. Plant Genome 10, 2.
  • Annicchiarico P, Thami Alami I, Abbas K, Pecetti L, Melis RAM, Porqueddu C (2017) Performance of legume-based annual forage crops in three semi-arid Mediterranean environments. Crop Pasture Sci 68, 932-941.
  • Annicchiarico P, Nazzicari N, Wei Y, Pecetti L, Brummer EC (2017) Genotyping-by-sequencing and its exploitation for forage and cool-season grain legume breeding. Front Plant Sci 8, 679.
  • Annicchiarico P, Nazzicari N, Bouizgaren A, Hayek T, Laouar M, Cornacchione M, Basigalup D, Brummer EC, Pecetti L (2018) Genome-enabled and phenotypic selection of alfalfa for widely-diversified cropping environments. In: Proc. 2nd World Alfalfa Congress, pp. 77-80. INTA, Cordoba, Argentina.
  • Annicchiarico P, Nazzicari N, Pecetti L, Romani, M, Russi L (2019) Pea genomic selection for Italian environments. BMC Genomics 20, 603.
Crop-livestock systems have huge economic importance in the Mediterranean basin, to satisfy the rising demand for animal products and to safeguard the economic stability of smallholders in the southern shore, and to produce typical animal products with high added-value in the northern shore. However, they are threatened by insufficient high-protein feedstuff, overexploitation of forage resources, increasing costs and decreasing availability of irrigation water and/or nitrogen fertilizers, and increasing drought and heat stress arising from climate change. Greater cultivation of stress-tolerant, legume-based crops could alleviate all of these constraints. REFORMA focused on field pea (for grain or forage) and alfalfa, with research work aimed at (i) developing innovative breeding methods based on genomic or marker-assisted selection and ecologically-based approaches, (ii) selecting stress-tolerant varieties, and (iii) optimizing legume-based crops.
REFORMA optimized a low-cost method of genotyping-by-sequencing characterization for alfalfa and pea and used it to predict genomically their breeding values for several traits. Cost-efficient genomic predictions could be obtained for (i) alfalfa forage yield in favourable or moderate-stress conditions in managed environments, withdrawn summer irrigation in Morocco, and over several stressful sites; (ii) key alfalfa forage quality traits; and (iii) pea grain yield and aerial biomass under severe drought. Also, REFORMA identified molecular markers and genomic areas associated with pea drought tolerance, alfalfa forage quality, alfalfa tolerance to severe sheep grazing, and alfalfa yield in pure stand and in mixture with forage grasses.
Both alfalfa and pea showed outstanding genotype × environment interaction for yield. That reinforced the need for selecting specific varieties for each country, while limiting the ability of environments managed with controlled water amounts to predict genotype yields in geographically distant drought-prone regions. However, managed environments were useful even for distant regions as a component of an evolutionary breeding scheme to selected drought-tolerant pea genotypes. Heat tolerance investigated for alfalfa revealed modest genetic variation.
Research in three countries confirmed the value of pea-based crops. Compared with two vetch species, pea was the only legume that combined high forage yield and farmers’ appreciation in pure stand, while displaying high yield, forage quality and farmers’ appreciation in intercropping. For alfalfa, mixtures with grasses (tall fescue alone or with cocksfoot) were high yielding, but farmers appreciated as well the alfalfa pure stand.
REFORMA selected stress-tolerant varieties of alfalfa and pea for different countries that will support the introduction of optimized alfalfa- and pea-based crops. The developed genome-based selection tools await future application on large numbers of new genotypes, to achieve further genetic progress.
SLU Grogrund Future faba beansFuture faba beans for food and feedFaba bean in Sweden, plant breeding, genomic breeding tools, genetic diversity, seed quality, agronomic traitssite2019-01-012022-12-31Åsa Grimbergasa.grimberg@slu.seSwedish University of Agricultural SciencesLantmännen Agriculture, Kalmar Ölands trädgårdsprodukter, Sveriges stärkelseproducenterNational projectsSwedish Governmental Funding SLU GrogrundSweden and also Europe is today dependent on imported soy to meet the demands for plant based protein which to a high extent is used for feed. Our goal is to meet the Swedish demand for protein-based food and feed products by enabling domestic production of high-quality protein crops.

Faba bean (Vicia faba) is one of the legume crops that have high protein content and it is already grown in Sweden today but only on at most 3% of arable land in some parts and breeding activities on this crop has been lacking in our country since early 1990. In this project we will initiate a breeding program on faba bean and develop state-of-the-art techniques targeting traits of importance for country-wide production for both food and feed. It will also dissect specific quality traits of this crop of interest for the development of novel healthy and tasty faba bean food products. New faba bean varieties adapted for food products will give added value to the farmer through the diversification of this crop from being used mainly for feed as present, while new feed varieties should aim at increased acreages for feed production.

The project activities will include the development of a faba bean breeding program initially based on the best commercial varieties. Faba bean genotypes from different parts of the world with properties relevant for a Swedish context will be assembled to make out a gene pool for the research and from which new candidates for the breeding program can be identified. This collection of genotypes will be phenotyped and genotyped for the development of genomic breeding tools that will make breeding of faba bean more efficient in the long term. Transcriptomics and metabolomics on developing seeds will be done to dissect traits of importance for using faba bean for food purposes.

SoilSynbioticsDevelopment of Synbiotics for enhancing the soil microbiome Flooding, probiotics, microbial distribution, agricultural soil recoverysite2022-06-142025-06-14Ruben R. Rosencrantzruben.rosencrantz@iap.fraunhofer.deFraunhofer IAP PostdamFraunhofer IAP Postdam, Maynooth University, ITQB NOVAInternational projectsERA- EJP Soil 1st External CallMaintaining soil health is central to the sustainability of agriculture and a key factor in productivity. At present, however, soil resources are seriously threatened by various anthropogenic influences, including climate change. As a result of climate change, agriculture and the ecosystem are becoming more insecure and complex, and their sustainability is decreasing. Plant-associated microorganisms stimulate plant growth and increase their resistance to various abiotic and biotic loads. For human, the modulation and enhancing of the microbiome is a highly important research topic including a lot of science driven innovations, but also a lot of dubious marketing driven products. The soil microbiome is a highly complex community that develops and changes dynamically. In addition, diverse functions such as the production of bioactive metabolites, the regulation of plant health and protection against pathogens are associated with the soil microbiome. These functions depend largely on the quantity and quality of the microbiota, which among other things be determined by the composition of the soil. In order to enable the best possible colonization with microorganisms and thus achieve benefits for the plants and soil in general, living bacteria (probiotics) are necessary. So-called prebiotics (in human often oligosaccharides) serve as the food source for these bacteria. These are not only a source of food, but can also be used as selection agents. In order to ultimately increase the probability of the microorganisms surviving in the soil, probiotic bacteria and substances with a prebiotic effect are combined and declared as synbiotics. Converting what is known about the human diet to soil microbiome enhancers is the overall topic of the project. However, so far no real pre- and probiotics or synbiotics for enhancing the soil microbiome are available.
SURIVEGDevelopment of healthy and sustainable gels made of fish protein and legume floursVegan-Surimi, Mixed gels, bioactive compounds, functional properties, fish-pea-bean2017-06-152020-12-30Mercedes Martín PedrosaMercedes Martín Pedrosa ( (Spain)ICTAN-CSIC (Spain)National projectsSpanish Ministry of Science and Innovation
  • Helena M. Moreno, Fatima Dominguez-Timon, M. Teresa Diaz, Mercedes M. Pedrosa, Javier Borderias, Clara A. Tovar (2020). Evaluation of gels made with different commercial pea protein isolate: Rheological, structural and functional properties. Foods Hydrocolloids (2020) 99: 105375.
  • Moreno, H.M., Tovar, C.A., Domingues-Timón, F; Cano-Báez, J; Diaz, M.T., Pedrosa, M.M., Borderias, J. (2020). Gelation of commercial pea proteins isolate: effect of microbial transglutaminase and thermal processing. Food Science and Technology. Acepted
In recent years the basic concept of nutrition is undergoing significant changes, with special emphasis on foods that can improve our health, our well-being and reduce the risk of certain diseases. FAO recommends increasing consumption of vegetable protein in the diet (75%), including fortification strategies, to promote diverse and healthy diets. On the other hand FAO also warns that 80% of the world's fisheries are already depleted and their substitution is recommended.
From some years ago there is a group of food, mainly seafood analogs, which processing is based in the elaboration of gels from protein concentrates, mainly from undervaluated fish species (surimi). In order to attend the FAO suggestions, the present project aims to develop new type of gels, consisting largely of myofibrillar fish protein and protein-enriched flour legumes. Further, the components of legume would provide to the gels this important functional-nutritional character, due to the known healthy properties of these components. Therefore, the incorporation of these nutritional and bioactive compounds from legumes for making mixed gels, could represent an excellent opportunity considering health and environment sustainability criteria. The raw materials used will be surimi, minced fish muscle, bean and pea