News Release

The giant faba bean genome decoded

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Aarhus University

Faba beans

image: Faba bean view more 

Credit: photo: Marcin Nadzieja, MBG, AU

Replacing meat or milk protein with plant-based alternatives to reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions is a global trend and the legume protein crop faba bean is set to play a major role.

Legume protein is critical for the transition to a plant-based diet. By consuming legumes together with cereals like rice or wheat, you can fulfill your nutritional requirements without the need for meat or dairy products. In addition, legumes, including faba bean, are not dependent on artificial nitrogen fertilizers, as they access nitrogen through symbiosis with soil bacteria.

Growing more faba bean means saving nitrogen fertilizer and faba bean’s high productivity in temperate climates can help replace imported soy products with locally produced legume protein to improve agricultural sustainability.

Now, researchers have finally succeeded in decoding the giant faba bean genome, where a single chromosome is as large as the entire human genome.

Professor Stig Uggerhøj Andersen states:

”Decoding the gigantic faba bean genome is a major milestone. We can now finally begin to understand important traits such as drought tolerance, protein content and quality, so that – together with plant breeders – we can improve them in an effective way and make faba bean a much more attractive crop.”

The faba bean genome was sequenced by an international consortium coordinated by  Professor Stig Uggerhøj Andersen, Aarhus University.

The results have been published in Nature.

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