Orphan legume crops enter the genomics era!
Many of the world's most important food legumes are grown in arid and semi-arid regions of Africa and Asia, where crop productivity is hampered by biotic and abiotic stresses. Until recently, these crops have also suffered from a dearth of genomic and molecular-genetic resources and thus were ‘orphans’ of the genome revolution. However, the community of legume researchers has begun a concerted effort to change this situation. The driving force is a series of international collaborations that benefit from recent advances in genome sequencing and genotyping technologies. The focus of these activities is the development of genome-scale data sets that can be used in high-throughput approaches to facilitate genomics-assisted breeding in these legumes.