Developing improved Vicia faba breeding practices and varieties to drive domestic protein production in the European Union

Project: Research

See relations at Aarhus University

Description

Europe suffers a major protein deficit, which results in an annual net import of 40 million tonnes of soybean as whole seed or meal (FAOstat data for 2011). In contrast, the total EU production of soybean, pea and faba bean (broad bean) is 8 million tonnes (Eurostat data for 2016), approximately equally distributed between the three. Faba bean is adapted to a wide range of climates, has a good disease resistance profile, and its seed protein concentration is higher than that of other starchy legumes including pea, so it is an attractive candidate for boosting protein production across Europe. To realise this potential, faba bean must be an economically competitive and attractive crop for European farmers. In order to accomplish this, we propose to unite the strong faba bean expertise from across Europe to establish common genotyping and bioinformatics strategies as well as common data repositories. Methods and data will be translated for use by partner breeders to ensure immediate impact on breeding strategies and variety development. The individual partners will address specific topics important for crop resilience and productivity, sharing the results as they are produced with the consortium and rendering them public as they are published. Bringing together a large group of partners with complementary expertise throughout Europe, we will address the most critical issues that currently limit faba bean production, including pest, disease and abiotic stress resistance, interactions with nitrogen fixing rhizobia, and resilience to climate change. Pre-competitive knowledge sharing of data generated using a common set of highly diverse faba bean lines will ensure that local breeder partners can address the most pertinent challenges faced by farmers to increase faba bean competitiveness when compared to cereals and thereby generate a more balanced and protein-self-sufficient European agricultural system, which takes full advantage of biological nitrogen fixation.
AcronymProFaba
StatusActive
Effective start/end date14/04/201913/04/2022

ID: 176485647