Breeding and Genomics Interventions for Developing Ascochyta Blight Resistant Grain Legumes

Uday C. Jha, Kamal Dev Sharma, Harsh Nayyar, Swarup K. Parida, Kadambot H.M. Siddique

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Grain legumes are a key food source for ensuring global food security and sustaining agriculture. However, grain legume production is challenged by growing disease incidence due to global climate change. Ascochyta blight (AB) is a major disease, causing substantial yield losses in grain legumes worldwide. Harnessing the untapped reserve of global grain legume germplasm, landraces, and crop wild relatives (CWRs) could help minimize yield losses caused by AB infection in grain legumes. Several genetic determinants controlling AB resistance in various grain legumes have been identified following classical genetic and conventional breeding approaches. However, the advent of molecular markers, biparental quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping, genome-wide association studies, genomic resources developed from various genome sequence assemblies, and whole-genome resequencing of global germplasm has revealed AB-resistant gene(s)/QTL/genomic regions/haplotypes on various linkage groups. These genomics resources allow plant breeders to embrace genomics-assisted selection for developing/transferring AB-resistant genomic regions to elite cultivars with great precision. Likewise, advances in functional genomics, especially transcriptomics and proteomics, have assisted in discovering possible candidate gene(s) and proteins and the underlying molecular mechanisms of AB resistance in various grain legumes. We discuss how emerging cutting-edge next-generation breeding tools, such as rapid generation advancement, field-based high-throughput phenotyping tools, genomic selection, and CRISPR/Cas9, could be used for fast-tracking AB-resistant grain legumes to meet the increasing demand for grain legume-based protein diets and thus ensuring global food security.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2217
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022


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