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Unlocking the Potential of Grasspea for Resilient Agriculture in Drought-prone Environments (UPGRADE)


Department for International Development UKAID

Titre : Unlocking the Potential of Grasspea for Resilient Agriculture in Drought-prone Environments (UPGRADE)

Pays : Ethiopie

Numéro du projet : GB-GOV-13-FUND—GCRF-BB_R020604_1

Organismes de mise en œuvre : John Innes Centre

Durée : Actual Start 01 Jul 2018 // 30 Jun 2021

The primary purpose of UPGRADE is to promote the welfare and economic development of people in Sub-Saharan Africa. We will achieve this by developing grass pea, an orphan crop that is ideally suited for the sustainable intensification of agriculture in agronomically challenging environments. UPGRADE will remove the primary limitations preventing the full utilisation of grass pea. This deep-rooting and soil-enriching legume crop will enhance food-security, through reducing the risk of crop failure by improving water management through its drought tolerance while also improving soil nutrient management through symbiotic nitrogen fixation and phosphate mobilisation. To achieve this overarching objective, we have defined five research objectives, which we will tackle : 1. Develop genotypic markers to allow marker-assisted breeding for beneficial traits identified in our previous work, including low-ODAP and high-methionine content as well as increased yield, and introgress these traits into locally adapted germplasm. 2. Measure the performance of low-ODAP genotypes under realistic agricultural stress conditions using field studies in Ethiopia. This will also further our understanding of the physiological role of ODAP in the plant. 3. Assess new agronomic applications for grass pea by trialling mixed cropping with drought-adapted forage grasses in Kenya. 4. Create new variation for beneficial traits by utilising TILLING, targeting genes of known agricultural importance in related species and genes involved in the biosynthesis of ODAP (identified by JIC). This will generate new resources for future crop improvement of grass pea and elucidate the ODAP pathway. 5. Set up a genome editing platform for grass pea allowing rapid and direct crop improvement of in the future and facilitating further research into grass pea improvement. These objectives correspond to the five work packages that comprise UPGRADE. Through this project we will build a pipeline for the translation of foundational research advances in grass pea into crop improvements for Sub-Saharan Africa, harnessing the expertise and resources of scientists in the UK, Kenya and Ethiopia

Financement : UK - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Project budget : £1,246,884

Présentation (UKAID)

Page publiée le 18 octobre 2022