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Scientists unlock the code to breeding better peas in Australia

Updated Sep 23, 2022
Peas are a crucial crop for Australian farmers due to their versatility and reliable yields across a range of environments and soil types. A source of protein, starch, fiber and minerals, peas are also a valuable rotation crop due to their ability to improve the soil that they grow in without using industrial fertilizers.
This makes understanding their genetic makeup a priority, with research now unveiling high-quality reference genomes to understand crop domestication and accelerate genetic improvement."In the past decades, next-generation sequencing technology has greatly facilitated crop genomics studies, leading to a better understanding of genome architecture," explained Professor Rajeev Varshney, who is one of the project leaders."We have applied this technology to map the genetic structure and variations of 118 cultivated and wild pea genotypes."Just as humans differ one to another, the differences in plants are also encoded in their genetics. This research, published in Nature Genetics, details the genetic structure and variance of peas and how they have evolved to this point in time and lays the groundwork for improving crops.Plant breeders can use this information to develop new pea varieties with improved characteristics, like drought and frost tolerance. Genomic selection facilitates ...
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