Development of cowpea cultivars and germplasm by the Bean/Cowpea CRSP uri icon

abstract

  • This paper reviews accomplishments in cowpea cultivar and germplasm development by the Bean/Cowpea Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSP) which was funded by the United States Agency for International Development for a period of about 20 years. Drought-adapted, pest and disease resistant cultivars 'Mouride', 'Melakh' and 'Ein El Gazal' were developed for rainfed production in the tropical Sahelian zone of Africa. Cultivars 'CRSP Niebe' and 'Lori Niebe' which have seed and pod resistance to cowpea weevil and some disease resistance were developed for rainfed production in the tropical Savanna zone of West Africa. Cultivar 'California Blackeye No. 27' was developed for irrigated production in subtropical California, USA and is a semidwarf with heat tolerance and broad-based resistance to root-knot nematodes and Fusarium wilt. Various cultivars with persistent-green seed color including 'Bettergreen' and 'Charleston Greenpack' were bred for use in the food freezing industry in the USA. Germplasms were developed with unique traits including: snap-type pods, green manure/cover crop capabilities, heat tolerance during reproductive development, chilling tolerance during emergence, delayed leaf senescence as a mechanism of adaptation to mid-season drought and high grain yields, differences in stable carbon isotope discrimination, harvest index, rooting and plant water- and nutrient-relations traits, broad-based resistance to root-knot nematodes and Fusarium wilt, and resistance to flower thrips, cowpea aphid, lygus bug and cowpea weevil, and various quality traits including all-white and sweet grain. These germplasms provide a valuable resource for breeding additional cowpea cultivars for Africa and the USA. (C) 2003 Published by Elsevier Science B.V.

publication date

  • 2003
  • 2003
  • 2003