See more from this Session: Green Revolution 2.0: Plant Genetic Resources and the Future of Food Production
Monday, November 1, 2010
Long Beach Convention Center, Exhibit Hall BC, Lower Level
Grasspea (Lathyrus sativus L.) is a promising food and fodder crop for adaptation under climate change because of its tolerance to drought, water-logging and salinity, and being almost free from any serious infestation of insect pests and diseases. In spite of these properties, the crop remains underutilized due to the presence of β-N-oxalyl-L-α, β-diaminopropionic acid (β-ODAP) in its young seedlings and seeds. The seeds of traditional varieties when grown under harsh climatic conditions contain 0.5 -2.5% ODAP, which is not healthy for human consumption, if taken in large quantity continuously. ICARDA holds one of the largest collections of Lathyrus with 3,300 accessions representing 45 species from 45 countries. We screened 1,128 accessions of cultivated species, and found a wide range of 0.150 to 0.952% for ODAP content. Two accessions, IG 118563 (0.150%) and IG 64888 (0.198%) had low ODAP. Wild gene pool is a rich reservoir of rare alleles. Therefore, 142 accessions of its closely related species, Lathyrus cicera were evaluated, showing a range of 0.073 to 0.513% for ODAP content. Eleven accessions, namely IG140034 (0.073%), IG 64990 (0.081%), IG 64977 (0.111%), IG 135481 (0.130%), IG 64840 (0.178%), IG 64871 (0.180%), IG 64879 (0.185%0, IG 64876 (0.188%), IG 64867 (0.192%), IG 64861 (0.198%), and IG 65046 (0.198%) had <0.20% ODAP. Six selections, namely Sel # 1335, 1329, 1348, 1330, 1328 and Bio 520 showed high yield (>1000 kg/ha) and low ODAP (<0.10%). Adoption of low ODAP cultivars will help improve the rural livelihood, nutrition and health of poor in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.