Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Breeding quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.): potential and perspectives

Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) originated in the Andean region of South America; this species is associated with exceptional grain nutritional quality and is highly valued for its ability to tolerate abiotic stresses. However, its introduction outside the Andes has yet to take off on a large scale. In the Andes, quinoa has until recently been marginally grown by small-scale Andean farmers, leading to minor interest in the crop from urban consumers and the industry. Quinoa breeding programs were not initiated until the 1960s in the Andes, and elsewhere from the 1970s onwards. New molecular tools available for the existing quinoa breeding programs, which are critically examined in this review, will enable us to tackle the limitations of allotetraploidy and genetic specificities. The recent progress, together with the declaration of “The International Year of the Quinoa” by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, anticipates a bright future for this ancient species.

Zurita-Silva A., Fuentes F., Zamora P., Jacobsen S. E., Schwember A. R. (2014) Breeding quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.): perspectives and potential. Molecular Breeding. DOI: 10.1007/s11032-014-0023-5

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