COBRA in Turkey_2014

Republic of Turkey
Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock
General Directorate of Agricultural Research and Politics

Final Report

Collection, regeneration, morphological characterization and conservation of cowpea [Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.] landraces in Turkey

Project No: TAGEM/TA/11/06/01/014
Project Team:
Dr. Alev KIR (Team Leader)
Dr. Ayfer TAN
Dr. Nil Korkmaz
Mrs. Nüket AY
Mr. Mehmet Gündüz
Mr. Ahmet Kalın
Mrs. Lerzan Gül AYKAS
Dr. Erdinç Oğur
Mrs. Ferdağ Helvacıoğlu
Dr. Ceylan Büyükkileci
Dr. Kürşat Önalan
Mr. Tefik Taylan

Superviser (s) : Prof. Dr. İsmail Türkan (EÜFF), Prof. Dr. Eftal Düzyaman (EÜZF)


December / 2014



Turkey is an important center of origin and/or center of genetic diversity for cereals and legumes and many other main crops (Tan, 2010). Although the center of origin of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.) is uncertain and cowpea originated in Africa, where it is grown throughout the tropics and subtropics. After it was introduced into Anatolia, its cultivation spread throughout most of the country. With its widespread distribution, natural and artificial selection by farmers has resulted in a great diversity of landraces. In many regions of Turkey, diverse cowpea landraces have gradually been developed over time. But, the total number of landraces in Turkey, especially in the marginal and remote areas, appears to be declining over time. Turkey is described as microcenter for many crops including cowpea. In addition, because of global warming, importance of cowpea has been increasing as an alternative crop which can be grown under water deficit areas.

The main objective of this project is to identify drought-tolerant and drought-susceptible of cowpea landraces by screening the material under field conditions and use the raw materials for breeding activities and sustainable use at sustainable production of Turkey. Given the diversity of cowpea landraces in Turkey, populations of cowpea were surveyed, collected, regenerated, and conserved in cold storage conditions according to ex-situ conservation methods at the National Gene Bank (NGB) of the Aegean Agricultural Research Institute (AARI) and were also evaluated agro-morphologically. Therefore seed of this landrace is currently available for research. A total of 253 landrace accessions mainly from the Aegean and Mediterranean regions of Turkey were used to evaluate 51 qualitative and quantitative agro-morphological characteristics in the landrace samples. All landraces showed high variation of observed characters. Field experiments of drought tolerant, in a Randomized Complete Block Design Split Plot with 4 replications were carried out during the two growing seasons (2013-2014) for prominent 11 accessions of the total observed populations in Menemen-Izmir ecological conditions. In terms of grain yield and yield components of 5 populations ranked at the same group among the registered standard varieties (Karagöz-86, Akkız-86 ve Poyraz) used in the trials, statistically. During main crop growing season, sum of evapotranspiration for irrigated and rainfed cowpea material measured as between 162 mm and 475 mm according to applications of the trials in Menemen-Izmir. Totally, 11 landraces determined to transfer breeding programmes and the prominent 11 accessions have been using for breeding purposes in “Coordinating Organic Plant Breeding Activities for Diversity-COBRA” Project supported by the Core Organic II Funding Bodies, being partners of the FP7 Era Net Project.

Key Words:
Cowpea, Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp, landraces, drought toleration, evapotranspiration morphological characterization, agro-morphological characters, genetic diversity, variability, agricultural biodiversity.


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