Designing new molecular breeding tools for strategies of drought tolerance in Vicia

Common vetch is a legume with high content of vegetable protein. This crop is relevant in sustainable agriculture systems by avoiding the use of nitrogen fertilizers, reducing CO2 emissions and other pollutants.


In the current climate change scenario, drought is a major threat to crops. In this work, we use transcriptomic approaches to identify different drought-associated molecular markers that can be used as selection tools in breeding strategies.

Loss in crop yield due to climate change and associated drought is one of the main problems faced by current crops, including the legume common vetch (Vicia sativa L.). Vetch is a legume with high protein content and high nitrogen fixation, relevant in sustainable agriculture systems.

To understand drought tolerance mechanisms in V. sativa, we have developed RNA-seq analysis to study the transcriptomic differences between different drought sensitive and drought tolerant ecotypes. Later, we have identified polymorphic variants (SNPs and SSRs) in differential expressed genes (DEGs).

These studies have provided relevant information to characterize the networks and molecular mechanisms involved in drought response and drought tolerance in this legume. In addition, the identification of polymorphic variants will be very useful for designing molecular markers associated with drought tolerance in future breeding strategies.


Original Paper:

De la Rosa, L., Zambrana, E., Ramirez-Parra, E. 2020. Molecular bases for drought tolerance in common vetch: designing new molecular breeding tools. BMC Plant Biology 20, 71. DOI: 10.1186/s12870-020-2267-z