Development of a Genomics-Based Breeding and Improvement Programme for Moringa oleifera in Kenya

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Moringa (Moringa oleifera) is a perennial shrubby tree originating from the foothills of the Himalayas in North-Western India and now widely distributed and cultivated across tropical and sub-tropical areas in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Moringa is an important multi-purpose nutrient-dense tree used as food, fodder, and medicine as a part of tropical and semi-tropical agroforestry landscapes. It is a fast growing, easily manageable tree with abundant production of edible leaves, flowers and fruits. The leaves are 27% protein by dry weight with essential amino acids and are rich in vitamins C, provitamin A, K, beta-carotene and minerals- calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus with high dietary fiber. The leaves also contain a very high amount of antioxidants (polyphenol) and anti-inflammatory agents (isothiocyanate) with potential health benefits. Due to its agro-economic potential and high nutrient contents like iron, it is considered as an important potential source to combat malnutrition, especially for women and children in developing countries. Thus, Moringa was prioritized by the African Orphan Crops Consortium to generate genomic resources and to develop a breeding program based on this information.
Authors: Hendre, P.; Muchigi, A.; Odee, D.; Cavers, S.; Muthemba, S.; Kariba, R.; Yssel, A.E.J.; Liu, H.; Liu, M.; Sahu, S.K.; Chen, S.; Xu, X.; Liu, X.; Waterman, C.; Olson, M.; Van de Peer, Y.; Van Deynze, A.; Simons, A.; Shapiro, H-Y.; Jamnadass, R.
Subjects: orphan crops, genomes, genetic variation
Publication type: Conference paper, Publication
Year: 2020

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