Pea genetic diversity studies for better breeding

Crop genetic diversity, being crucial for feeding humanity as well as for the environment, continues to be reduced. Pea (Pisum sativum L.) as one of the oldest domesticated crops ranks as the fourth widely grown legume. Its seeds serve as a protein-rich food and feed source. Many studies have been conducted on Pisum germplasm collections to investigate genetic and trait diversity. It is also important for breeders to know the genetic basis of cultivars, especially whether they have become too narrow in diversity to render the crop vulnerable to disease or pests. Genetic structure of defined populations have been investigated by various molecular marker approaches. Defining a pea core together with a set of markers, will provide a basis for comparison of phenotypicand molecular analyses.