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Review Article|10 Jan 2018|OPEN
A roadmap for breeding orphan leafy vegetable species: a case study of Gynandropsis gynandra (Cleomaceae)
E. O. Deedi Sogbohossou1,2, Enoch G. Achigan-Dako2, Patrick Maundu3, Svein Solberg4, Edgar M. S. Deguenon5, Rita H. Mumm6, Iago Hale7, Allen Van Deynze8 & M. Eric Schranz1,
1Biosystematics Group, Wageningen University, Postbus 647 6700AP, Wageningen, The Netherlands
2Laboratory of Genetics, Horticulture and Seed Sciences, Faculty of Agronomic Sciences, University of Abomey-Calavi, BP 2549 Abomey-Calavi, Benin
3Kenya Resource Center for Indigenous Knowledge (KENRIK), Centre for Biodiversity, National Museums of Kenya, Museum HillP. O. Box 40658, Nairobi 00100, Kenya
4World Vegetable Center (AVRDC), P. O. Box 42, Shanhua, Tainan 74199, Taiwan
5NGO Hortitechs Developpement, 02 BP 1111 Cotonou, Benin
6Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL 61801, USA
7Department of Agriculture, Nutrition, and Food Systems, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824, USA
8Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA

Horticulture Research 5,
Article number: 2 (2018)
doi: 10.1038/hortres.2018.2
Views: 579

Received: 07 Aug 2017
Revised: 23 Oct 2017
Accepted: 29 Nov 2017
Published online: 10 Jan 2018


Despite an increasing awareness of the potential of “orphan” or unimproved crops to contribute to food security and enhanced livelihoods for farmers, coordinated research agendas to facilitate production and use of orphan crops by local communities are generally lacking. We provide an overview of the current knowledge on leafy vegetables with a focus on Gynandropsis gynandra, a highly nutritious species used in Africa and Asia, and highlight general and species-specific guidelines for participatory, genomics-assisted breeding of orphan crops. Key steps in genome-enabled orphan leafy vegetables improvement are identified and discussed in the context of Gynandropsis gynandra breeding, including: (1) germplasm collection and management; (2) product target definition and refinement; (3) characterization of the genetic control of key traits; (4) design of the ‘process’ for cultivar development; (5) integration of genomic data to optimize that ‘process’; (6) multi-environmental participatory testing and end-user evaluation; and (7) crop value chain development. The review discusses each step in detail, with emphasis on improving leaf yield, phytonutrient content, organoleptic quality, resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses and post-harvest management.