Many of the world's most important food legumes are grown in arid and semi-arid regions of Africa and Asia, where crop productivity is hampered by biotic and abiotic stresses. Until recently, these crops have also suffered from a dearth of genomic and molecular-genetic resources and thus were ‘orphans’ of the genome revolution. However, the community of legume researchers has begun a concerted effort to change this situation. The driving force is a series of international collaborations that benefit from recent advances in genome sequencing and genotyping technologies. The focus of these activities is the development of genome-scale data sets that can be used in high-throughput approaches to facilitate genomics-assisted breeding in these legumes.
Varshney, R.K.; Close, T.J.; Singh, N.K.; Hoisington, D.A.; Cook, D.R. Orphan legume crops enter the genomics era!. Current Opinion in Plant Biology (2009) 12 (2) 202-210. [DOI: 10.1016/j.pbi.2008.12.004]