Project Details

Benchmarking of traits controlling the plant water budget in orphan legumes

Duration: 27/Oct/2014 - 26/Oct/2016

Project contact: Dr Vincent Vadez (V.VADEZ@CGIAR.ORG)

Donor: Foundation or Trust,Kirkhouse Trust

CGIAR Research Program: Grain Legumes

The difficulty of comparing crops species for their “drought tolerance” is that “tolerance” is often confused with simple differences in plant water needs. For instance peanut develops a larger leaf area, has longer duration and higher yield potential than cowpea, but needs more water to fulfill its growth cycle. Therefore, an essential first step in comparing crop species for drought adaptation is to undertake a rigorous benchmarking of plant water need from sowing to maturity. The main objective of this proposal is to evaluate the plant water needs of several orphan legumes species [Rice bean (Vigna umbellata), Moth bean (Vigna aconitofolia), Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata), Horse gram (Macrotyloma uniflorum) and Dolichos (Lablab purpureus)] across seasons, and compare them to commonly grown legumes species. The project will evaluate their overall water needs and the traits that condition plant water use, with two sub-objectives of analysing the plant water budget of these different species (using lysimeters), under both a fully irrigated conditions and under terminal water stress; and measuring how known traits contribute to water saving in these legume species.

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