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Title: Cowpea Breeding in the USA, New Varieties and Improved Germplasm

item Fery, Richard
item EHLERS, JEFFREY - University Of California
item ROBERTS, PHILLIP - University Of California

Submitted to: Cowpea World Conference Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/21/2010
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: N/A

Technical Abstract: Cowpeas are utilized in the U.S. as both a vegetable crop and a dry bean, and breeding efforts are focused on development of cultivars for specific end uses. Blackeye cultivars are developed for production of dry beans for national and international markets. ‘California Blackeye No. 50' (CB50), a cultivar with a combination of high-value traits, was released in 2008. CB50 has high yield potential and superior seed quality, in addition to broad-based resistance to root-knot nematodes and Fusarium wilt. Breeding programs in the southeastern U.S. have traditionally been directed towards the development of various classes of horticultural-type cultivars for the canning, freezing, fresh market, and home garden market sectors. Recent releases from the U.S. Department of Agriculture include ‘GreenPack-DG’, a pinkeye-type that is homozygous for two genes (gc, green cotyledon; gt, green testa) conditioning a persistent green seed trait; ‘Doublegreen Delight’ and ‘WhiteAcre-DG’, cream-types with a persistent green seed trait conditioned by both the gc and gt genes; ‘Charleston Nemagreen’ and ‘ZipperCream-CG’, root-knot nematode resistant, cream-types with a persistent green seed trait conditioned by the gc gene; ‘Baby Cream’, a small-seeded, early-maturing cream-type; ‘Charleston Blackeye’, a blackeye-type adapted for production in the southeastern U.S.; ‘KnuckleHull-VNR’, a crowder-type that is resistant to Blackeye cowpea mosaic virus and root-knot nematodes; and ‘WhipperSnapper’, a dual-purpose cultivar useful for the production of both snaps and fresh-shell peas. The freezing industry in the U.S. now uses both pinkeye-type and cream-type cultivars with persistent green seed coat phenotypes. Development of large white, sweet, cover and mulch crop, and insect-resistant cultivars will also be discussed.