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Crop Biotech Update

International Consortium Sequences Genome of White Lupin

January 29, 2020

The genome of white lupin, an annual pulse crop cultivated for its protein-rich seeds, has been sequenced by an international team of researchers from 11 French and foreign laboratories coordinated by Benjamin Péret at the Biochimie et physiologie moléculaire des plantes laboratory (CNRS/Inrae/Université de Montpellier/Montpellier SupAgro).

Lupins originate from the Mediterranean region and are recognized as a traditional food due to its very high protein content (between 30 and 40% of the whole seed). It is adapted to poor soils and has a low need for phosphate fertilizers due to its highly adapted root system and no need for nitrogen input as a legume. White lupin is one of the few crops that produces "proteoid" or cluster roots, enabling it to solubilize phosphate and extract it efficiently.

The project provides a high-quality genome sequence of a cultivated accession of white lupin (2n = 50, 451 Mb), as well as de novo assemblies of a landrace and a wild relative. The results published in Nature Communications describe a modern accession with increased soil exploration capacity through early establishment of lateral and cluster roots and show how seed quality may have been impacted by domestication in terms of protein profiles and alkaloid content.

For more details, read the CNRS article or the paper in Nature Communications.

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