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Preventing Favism by Selecting Faba Bean Mutants Using Molecular Markers

Author: Melody Song
Publication: STEM Fellowship Journal
22 February 2017


Faba bean (Vicia faba) is an ancient legume species known for its high protein content. The usage and consumption of the faba bean is limited by a glycoside, vicine-convicine (VC). Consumption of VC causes haemolytic anemia in individuals with the genetic condition called favism. Faba beans with low VC concentration are opening the possibility of reduction of favism disease, but there are many challenges in analyzing VC concentration. The objective of this study was to develop expressed sequence tag (EST) markers that can differentiate between low VC content (LVC) and high VC content (HVC) faba bean genotypes. Three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were discovered that distinguished between LVC and HVC genotypes. The SNPs were validated using Kompetitive Allele Specific PCR (KASP) and mass spectrometry phenotyping. Molecular marker SNP 316 (Intron of Medtr2g009270 at 1,851,012 bp) was the most successful marker in differentiating between LVC, HVC, and heterozygous faba bean genotypes. This marker has applications in seed selection and acceleration of breeding programs, which is the first step towards allowing all consumers concerned with the effects of favism to enjoy the nutritional value of faba bean.

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Published In

cover image STEM Fellowship Journal
STEM Fellowship Journal
Volume 3Number 1February 2017
Pages: 2 - 6


Published online: 22 February 2017

Key Words

  1. Faba bean
  2. Vicine-convicine (VC)
  3. Expressed Sequence Tag (EST)
  4. Molecular Marker
  5. Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP)



Melody Song
Evan Hardy Collegiate Institute

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