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Plants 2018, 7(3), 72;

Physiology Based Approaches for Breeding of Next-Generation Food Legumes

Department of Plant Science, University of Saskatchewan, 51 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK S7N5A8, Canada
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Saskatoon Research and Development Center, 107 Science Place, Saskatoon, SK S7N0X2, Canada
Department of Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Road E., Guelph, ON N1G2W1, Canada
Current address: DEDJTR Horsham Centre, 110 Natimuk Rd, Horsham VIC3400, Australia.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 31 August 2018 / Accepted: 7 September 2018 / Published: 8 September 2018
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Plant breeders and agricultural scientists of the 21st century are challenged to increase the yield potentials of crops to feed the growing world population. Climate change, the resultant stresses and increasing nutrient deficiencies are factors that are to be considered in designing modern plant breeding pipelines. Underutilized food legumes have the potential to address these issues and ensure food security in developing nations of the world. Food legumes in the past have drawn limited research funding and technological attention when compared to cereal crops. Physiological breeding strategies that were proven to be successful in cereals are to be adapted to legume crop improvement to realize their potential. The gap between breeders and physiologists should be narrowed by collaborative approaches to understand complex traits in legumes. This review discusses the potential of physiology based approaches in food legume breeding and how they impact yield gains and abiotic stress tolerance in these crops. The influence of roots and root system architectures in food legumes’ breeding is also discussed. Molecular breeding to map the relevant physiological traits and the potentials of gene editing those traits are detailed. It is imperative to unlock the potentials of these underutilized crops to attain sustainable environmental and nutritional food security. View Full-Text
Keywords: legume breeding; food security; physiology; abiotic stress; genomics; gene editing legume breeding; food security; physiology; abiotic stress; genomics; gene editing

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Shunmugam, A.S.K.; Kannan, U.; Jiang, Y.; Daba, K.A.; Gorim, L.Y. Physiology Based Approaches for Breeding of Next-Generation Food Legumes. Plants 2018, 7, 72.

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