Exploring the domestication of Bambara groundnut

N.S. Ahmad, H.H. Chai, S. Basu, E. Sri Redjeki, J. Moreton, K. Mayes, W.K. Ho, F. Massawe, S. Mayes
The current decade has been declared to be the LSQUOUnited Nations Decade on BiodiversityRSQUO because human activities have put agricultural diversity at risk from serious genetic erosion, particularly with the globalisation of agricultural trade becoming increasingly reliant on a few agricultural commodities. The richness of the genetic base preserved in genetically heterogeneous landraces and in crop ancestors could be a source of genes conferring resilience traits, particularly to biotic and/or abiotic stresses. Bambara groundnut, an African legume, has been chosen as an exemplar of other minor crops. The domesticated forms (Vigna subterranea [L.] Verdc.) are grown on a small-scale and in subsistence farming, yet distributed in many parts of the tropics and particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Another botanical form var. spontanea comprises the wild relatives which have a major centre of diversity around the Cameroons. Domestication of this species has led to the predominance of bunched and semi-bunched genotypes (with the ancestor being an extreme spreading type), a loss of dormancy and a number of other traits changes, often termed as LSQUOThe Domestication SyndromeRSQUO. To gain further insight into this, we have developed two controlled crosses consisting of 1) a domesticated bunched maternal parent from Botswana (DipC) X a wild ancestor from the Cameroons (VSSP11); 2) the same DipC maternal parent X a contrasting semi-spreading domesticated type from Mali (Tiga Necaru). The comparisons between populations derived from these two crosses have allowed us to dissect some of the genetic mechanisms associating with the domestication in this species and to quantify the residual variation still present in the domesticated materials for domestication traits.
Ahmad, N.S., Chai, H.H., Basu, S., Sri Redjeki, E., Moreton, J., Mayes, K., Ho, W.K., Massawe, F. and Mayes, S. (2015). Exploring the domestication of Bambara groundnut. Acta Hortic. 1101, 183-190
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2015.1101.28
controlled crossing, framework linkage map, comparative genomics, synteny, QTL

Acta Horticulturae