Vicia faba

Common NameFaba Bean

Faba bean is an annual legume that thrives in relatively cooler growing climates. It is one of the best nitrogen fixers among the grain legumes deriving up to 74% of its nitrogen from the atmosphere and leaving soil nitrogen balances positive (Amanuel et al., Biol Fertil Soils 32:353–359). Nutritionally, it is a good source of dietary fiber, protein, phosphorus, copper and manganese, and a very good source of folate. It is also very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. Faba bean has an erect growth habit with stiff stems and long pinnate, gray-green leaves. The pods are long with a downy interior and contain 3-8 seeds. Faba bean is still often grown as a cover crop to prevent erosion, because they can overwinter and because as a legume, they fix nitrogen in the soil.

Breeding at the University of Saskatchewan

Market Classes: livestock feed and human consumption

Breeding Objectives: Reduction of vicine & convicine, seed size, low tannin, drought adaptation, resistance to Botrytis fabae (chocolate spot), increased yield, and earliness.

Germplasm Data
The following germplasm data is currently available:
Stock TypeCount
Single Cross957
Triple Cross611
Multiple Cross87
Double Cross5
2012 to 2015
This group is involved in a wide range of biotechnology projects that accelerate the legume breeding process. Double-haploid technology has been achieved in both chickpea and field pea by the CDC group in collaboration with colleagues in France and Australia. Efforts are underway to adapt this technology to lentil. Improving efficiency and integrating these techniques into routine breeding programs to enhance genetic gain are important long-term goals.
2009 to 2012
The first objective is to improve the nitrogen contribution of pulses to the rotation by assessing the nitrogen budget of faba bean, a crop likely to have greater nitrogen fixation and growth than pea and lentil. The second is to measure the biomass and nitrogen content of a range of faba genotypes and cultivars. The third objective is to assess the nitrogen fixation ability of faba genotypes by shoot N metabolism under typical dryland prairie conditions and controlled stress conditions, and develop a specific amino-acid screening method to screen for high N fixation. We intend to use the results to screen a wider range of germplasm for improving future varieties.
2010 to 2012
The nutritional value of pea, lentil, chickpea and dry bean grains are highly important for human health. Biofortification, enriching the nutritional contribution of staple crops through plant breeding, is one option that is now widely discussed in the fields of nutrition and public health at the national and international levels.
Preparation of EST data: Sequences were extracted from dbEST and were subjected to quality control screening (vector, E. coli, polyA, T, or CT removal, minimum length = 100 bp, < 3% N). Preparation of transcript (ET) database: All sequences from the appropriate divisions of GenBank (including RefSeq) were extracted. Non-coding sequences were discarded and cDNAs and coding sequences from genomic entries were saved. Sequences and related information (e.g. PubMed links) are stored in the qcGene database (qcGene). Assembly: Cleaned EST sequences and non-redundant transcript (ET) sequences were combined. Using the Paracel Transcript Assembler Program, sequences were assembled into contigs. TCs are consensus sequences based on two or more ESTs (and possibly an ET) that overlap for at least 40 bases with at least 94% sequence identity. These strict criteria help minimize the creation of chimeric contigs. These contigs are assigned a TC (Tentative Consensus) number. TCs may comprise ESTs derived from different tissues. The best hits for TC's were assigned by searching the TC set against a non-redundant amino acid database(nraa) using BLAT. The top five hits based on score were selected and displayed for each TC. Caveats: TCs are only as good as the ESTs underlying them; there may be unspliced or chimeric ESTs and thus TCs. There is still redundancy in the TC set because sequences must match end to end and at a certain percent identity to be combined. Directionality of the TCs should not be assumed. Not all TCs contain protein-coding regions.
In many important crop species, the strategy of single seed descent (SSD) enables only 2 - 3 generations per year. Approximately eight generations of inbreeding are required before plants are mostly homozygous (‘true breeding’). This creates a ‘bottleneck’ in cultivar development. Hence, the purpose of this project is to develop a rapid generation cycling technique for CDC pulse crops in order to speed up the breeding process by using in vitro flowering technique.