SO1.A To Enhance the Genetic Yield Potential

SO1.A: To substantively enhance the genetic yield potential of common bean and cowpea by exploiting new research tools afforded by genomics and molecular breeding approaches (MAS), with a focus on improving resistances to economically important abiotic and biotic constraints that limit yield in strategic cropping systems in Africa and Latin America where grain legumes are extensively grown.

The Legume Innovation Lab asserts that that the greatest potential for genetic yield enhancement lies in identifying physiological traits underpinning and regulating vegetative and reproductive growth and development. These include traits associated with photosynthesis (carbon fixation), nutrient and water acquisition from the soil, and assimilation and nutrient transport from vegetative to reproductive structures (pods and seeds). To ensure that newly identified traits are robust and will result in higher plant productivity over diverse seasons and agroecologies, Legume Innovation Lab research will seek to identify traits that are expressed and enhance legume grain yield when subjected to such climate change factors as drought, high temperatures, and low soil fertility. Genes for these and other traits will be bred into improved varieties of common bean and cowpea with high yield potential appropriate for smallholder farmer production conditions.