The major thrust of this MU is to 1) develop food legumes that produce sufficient biomass to assist with conservation compliance regulations for erosion control; 2) develop germplasm and cultivars of cool season food legumes (peas, lentils, chickpeas and Austrian winter peas) that will alleviate damage from diseases, insects, or environmental stresses; 3) use morphological, isozymic and DNA markers to establish gene maps that can be used to locate major genes for disease resistance and quality traits; 4) use genetic maps to identify loci that regulate the expression of quantitative traits such as time to flowering , time to maturity, biomass production, seed size and resistance to environmental stresses. Research conducted by the unit is concentrating on gene systems responsible for disease resistance and the loci that influence the expression of physiological traits. Linkage relationships of the genes for these traits with easily assayed molecular markers are being identified in Pisum, Lens, and Cicer. Germplasm and cultivar development is aimed toward new combinations of multiple disease resistance with improved yields and better crop quality. Genetic markers are being used to verify the incorporation of genes from wild species of Lens into cultivated types. Traits important to crop establishment and adaptation to the environment are being investigated. Future research in this unit is being directed towards the genetics of important traits, gene mapping and marker-based selection systems for use in germplasm development.