Lablab (Lablab purpureus) [Lablab purpureus (L.) Sweet] is termed a lost, underutilized and neglected crop in Africa. Despite the multipurpose use, production, consumption and research are still limited. Wide genetic diversity of lablab germplasm exists in Africa. Diversity studies provide significant information for subsequent research programs and improvement. The advent of genotyping and sequencing technologies has enabled the identification of unique and agronomically important traits. Application of next-generation sequencing on lablab as a pioneer orphan crop is currently underway. This has enabled description of the whole genome, generation of reference genome and resequencing that provide information on variation within the entire genome. Information from these technological advances helps in identifying potential traits for biotic and abiotic stress for further breeding programs. Storage pests specifically bruchids (Callosobruchus spp.), are considered a major obstacle in lablab production. Screening of available genotypes for bruchid resistance and studies on the physical and biochemical factors that confer resistance in lablab is required. Applying advanced technologies provides precise and reliable identification of the novel markers responsible for bruchid resistance allowing for introgression of important genes to breeding programs. This review provides a detailed analysis on the characterization of lablab and the information on bruchid resistance vital for breeding farmer-preferred varieties that possess agronomically beneficial traits. Concerted efforts and research on this neglected crop will enhance its production, utilization and consumption.
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