Biotech Updates

International Research Team Released Faba Bean Genome

March 15, 2023

An international team of scientists from Europe and Australia, led by the University of Reading (UK), Aarhus University (Denmark), and the University of Helsinki (Finland), has sequenced the faba bean genome for the first time. At 13 billion bases, the faba bean genome is more than four times the size of the human genome.

The project to fully decode the faba bean genome searched for genes involved in seed size. The research team also looked at the color of the hilum, the scar left when a bean detaches from the pod, to find the genes that determine this distinctive feature. Professor Donal O'Sullivan led the University of Reading team, said, “Having shown that we can quickly pinpoint genes controlling these visible seed traits, work is already underway to locate and identify precise genetic differences that control hidden seed characteristics that determine its nutritional value.”

Faba beans are naturally high in protein, fiber, and iron, nutrients that many people in the United Kingdom and the world need more. The sequencing project is an extraordinary technical achievement and crucial to efforts to breed beans with optimum nutritional content and sustainability of production.

For more details, read the news release from the University of Reading.

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