Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Historical Review of Faba Bean Improvement in Western Canada

Version 1 : Received: 14 January 2021 / Approved: 14 January 2021 / Online: 14 January 2021 (14:18:29 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Khazaei H, Hawkins G, Vandenberg A.Historical review of faba bean improvement in western Canada. Legume Science. 2021;e92. Khazaei H, Hawkins G, Vandenberg A.Historical review of faba bean improvement in western Canada. Legume Science. 2021;e92.


Faba bean (Vicia faba L.) was considered a minor crop in the Canadian prairies until recently, but its potential for cultivation is increasing due to its positive environmental impact and economic value. This review provides a historical summary of faba bean improvement in western Canada. Although traditional breeding methods have proved useful, in the last decade faba bean improvement has benefited from advances in genetics, biochemistry and molecular breeding tools. The overall breeding goal is to develop high yielding germplasm with improved agronomic characteristics that will be of economic value to the emerging faba bean sectors, including the plant protein industry. To maximize value and acceptance by producers, processors and the food industry as a source of protein and dietary fibre, future faba bean varieties need to be high-yielding, have diverse seed size classes, disease resistance, genetically low vicine-convicine concentration, and have wider adaptation to different agro-ecological zones of Canada. The experiences over the last 40 years of faba bean improvement in western Canada may be useful to other breeding programs globally located in regions with similar agroecology. In the past 10–15 years, faba bean genetic development in Canada has benefited greatly from research and development interactions with most of the faba bean research programs in northern Europe.


Vicia faba; legume improvement; quality traits; disease resistance


Biology and Life Sciences, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

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