Shortening generation time for faster commercialization of new pulse crop varieties


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.

This technique can also be applied to hybrids from the breeding program in order to reduce the time required for incorporating new sources of disease resistance into the cultivated species. It is also useful for obtaining seeds from interspecific and double-haploid projects where plants cannot be rooted or grafted.

Research Area
Tissue Culture

Tissue culture is the growth of tissues or cells separate from the organism. This is typically facilitated via use of a liquid, semi-solid, or solid growth medium, such as broth or agar. Specifically, plant tissue culture is a collection of techniques used to maintain or grow plant cells, tissues or organs ... [more]

Related Species

There are three main kinds of chickpeas: Desi, which has small, darker seeds and a rough coat; Bombay, which has slightly larger dark seeds; and Kabuli, which has lighter coloured seeds with a smooth coat. Chickpeas are an excellent source of the essential nutrients, iron, folate, phosphorus, protein and dietary fiber. Chickpeas are low in fat and most of this is polyunsaturated. Desi chickpeas have a markedly higher fiber content than Kabulis and hence a very low glycemic index which may make them suitable for people with blood sugar problems. The plant grows to between 20–50 cm high and has small feathery leaves on either side of the stem. Chickpea pods are short in length containing 2-3 seeds. ... [more]


Lentil (Lens culinaris Medik.) is an important pulse crop with annual production of 3-4 Mt across 70 countries (Cubero et al. 2009. DOI 10.1079/9781845934873.0000; pg. 13). Lentils are a good source of protein, carbohydrates, micronutrients and vitamins for human nutrition and is consumed in more than 120 countries. Furthermore, their small seed size and flat shape make them relatively quick cooking and easily decorticated compared to most other grain legumes (Sharpe et al. 2013. BMC Genomics. DOI 10.1186/1471-2164-14-192). The Lentil plant has a bushy growth habit with a height of about 40 cm; the seeds are lens-shaped and usually grow two per pod. ... [more]


Dry Bean are high in starch, protein and dietary fiber, as well as being an excellent source of iron, potassium, selenium, molybdenum, thiamine, vitamin B6 and folate. Dry beans take longer to cook then most pulses, although cooking time can be shortened by soaking dried beans before cooking. Dry Bean is a highly variable species with growth habits ranging from bush varieties growing 20-60cm tall to vine varieties growing 2-3m long. While dry bean varieties range in growth habit all have characteristic green or purple alternate leaves and long pods containing 4-6 kidney-shaped seeds. ... [more]


Pea (Pisum sativum L.) is one of the first domesticated crops, and was the model crop for the foundational genetic studies by Gregor Mendel, which he first reported in 1865. Pea is grown in most temperate regions of the world with annual production over the past decade of 10-12 million tonnes of field pea and 14-17 million tonnes of vegetable pea. Pea belongs to the Leguminosae family and consists of two species, P. fulvum and P. sativum with several ‘wild’ subspecies of P. sativum. Canada is the leading producer and exporter of field pea in the world. Saskatchewan is the leading province in pea production followed by Alberta and Manitoba. ... [more]


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. ... [more]

Sequences, Variants & Markers