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June 22nd, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Chickpeas may soon be added to the list of vitamin A-enriched crops. Vitamin A has been proven to enhance brain function, improve sight and skin health, and slow down aging.

According to Bunyamin Tar’an, professor at the University of Saskatchewan and chickpea breeder, chickpeas are a well-known source of protein and minerals in many countries and used as meat substitute. Thus, they are conducting a research to boost the vitamin A content of this pulse crop. One of his PhD students, Mohammad Rezaei, has identified the genes in the chickpea DNA that control the plant’s production of vitamin A. He used the chickpea whole genome sequence generated from the collaboration of Tar’an’s lab with many national and international research institutes and universities.

Rezaei is now looking for genetic markers associated with the vitamin A trait which colors the vegetable yellow, orange, and red. Then Tar’an would use the genetic markers for selection to speed up the development of new varieties. Read more