Cowpea, blackeye pea trait improvement in progress
Stefano Lonardi, a professor of computer science and engineering and a co-principal investigator on the team, will help process large amounts of data that the research projects will generate.
“We will use a computational method that greatly reduces the possibility of making mistakes and also reduces the cost,” Lonardi said. “This method makes it possible to mark where in the genome the genes are located that influence, say, drought-tolerance. And the method also identifies those progeny that carry the alleles, which are forms of genes, for this and other desirable traits.”
UCR has already had much success in releasing new cowpea varieties in California and West Africa, and has a long-term blackeye breeding program funded by the California Dry Bean Advisory Board. The researchers note that the university’s Coachella Valley Agricultural Research Station closely resembles environmental conditions in West Africa.