Project objectives

GENLEG aims to improve three legume crops of crucial importance for Italian feed systems, namely:

  1. alfalfa alias lucerne, which is the most-grown perennial forage legume in Italy and Southern Europe;
  2. soybean, which is the most-grown feed grain legume and the main supplier of feed proteins in animal production systems of Italy and Southern Europe, with increasing importance also for food utilization;
  3. pea, considered of great perspective importance as a cool-season annual legume because of its high grain yield potential and flexibility of utilization (for feed or food grain, and for feed biomass).

With reference to the above target crops and to crop yield, drought tolerance and protein content improvement, GENLEG aims:

  1. to validate and exploit genomic selection models that have already been developed in previous projects, and build and validate new models for traits that have not yet been studied;
  2. for alfalfa and pea, to produce the first international comparisons of genomic selection vs. phenotypic selection in terms of actual genetic progress.

In addition, GENLEG aims to develop candidate cultivars, as well as breeding populations for future genomic selections.