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Glossary of Terminology & Acronyms

Term / Acronym Definition
ABC African Bean Consortium
East African common bean breeding programme for five pathogen constraints my MAS.
Alectra Parasitic Weed (common name 'alectra')
The genus Alectra (family Scrophulariaceae) includes a large number of tropical parasitic or hemi-parasitic plants.
ALS Angular Leaf Spot
A disease of plants, characterised by angular, watery spots on the leaves and fruit, caused by any of several bacteria.
ANT Anthracnose
A fungal disease of plants, characterised by sunken spots or lesions (blight) of various colours in leaves, stems, fruits, or flowers resulting in wilting, withering, and death of tissues.
Agronomy The science of soil management and crop production.
APS / TEMED Ammonium persulphate/N,N,N',N'-tetramethylethylenediamine
Used to polymerise polyacrylamide gels for electrophoresis.
Backcross Breeding A breeding method used to move one or a few desirable genes from an agronomically poor line to an elite line. This is done by crossing the line having a small number of desirable genes (donor parent line) to an elite line (recurrent parent), and crossing offspring with the desired gene(s) to the recurrent parent.
BCMNV Bean Common Mosaic Necrosis Virus
BCMNV is transmitted by aphids and through infected seeds. Infected plants, have distorted leaves (curling, strapping, or puckering of tissues along leaf veins) and mosaic symptoms (alternating areas of light and dark green). Plants may be stunted and have only a few pods. Necrosis produces dark streaks on petioles and stems.
BLAST Basic Local Alignment Search Tool
A bioinformatic search tool used to compare biological sequences, including nucleotide and amino acid sequences.
Breeder Seed Also known as prebasic seed. It is directly controlled by the originating plant breeder, sponsoring institution or firm which supplies the initial source and recurring increases of foundation seed. There are no certification standards for breeder seed.
CBB Common Bacterial Blight
A blight disease which causes sudden severe yellowing and withering of plants. It is caused by several different species of common bacteria.
Cercospora canescens A fungus that causes a leaf spot disease in cowpea.
Certified Seed Produced from foundation, registered, certified, or other approved seed stocks. This seed should be no more than two generations from foundation seed. Certified seed cannot be used to produce certified seed after two generations without the approval of the state certification agency, which can approve production only under exceptional conditions.
Co-dominant A situation in which two different alleles for a genetic trait are both expressed.
Colletotrichum truncatum A fungus that causes brown blotch disease in cowpea.
Dissemination The act of distributing or spreading widely.
Dolichos Orphan legume crop species such as Lablab purpureus.
Donor Parent The parent with favourable genetic material to be transferred to an elite parent. Used to pass genetic traits on through reproduction.
dNTP Deoxyribonucleotide triphosphate
A generic term referring to the four deoxyribonucleotides: dATP, dCTP, dGTP and dTTP.
Electrophoresis The separation of charged molecules (Proteins, DNA or RNA) in an electric field through a gel or other medium.
Foundation Seed Produced from breeder's seed or foundation seed under the control of the originator or sponsoring institution or licence. Foundation seed is controlled by the originating plant owner or licence.
Fusarium wilt A soil-borne fungal pathogen which causes vascular wilt disease in cowpea.
Genotype The genetic makup of an organism or group of organisms with reference to a single trait, set of traits, or an entire complex of traits.
Germplasm A collection of individual plants that contains a species' genetic variation. It can be represented and propagated by any living propagule such as seeds, cuttings, or even cells. Germplasm is the basis of plant breeding programmes. It is usually limited to any sexually compatible species for a given crop.
Heterozygous When an individual has different alleles at a given gene or marker locus, such as Aa instead of AA or aa.
Homozygous When an individual has two copies of the same allele at a given gene or marker locus, such as AA or aa rather than Aa.
hPAGE Horizontal Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis
A bespoke electrophoresis system developed by Professor Southern and provided to all labs supported by the Kirkhouse Trust.
KBioscience A service provider that has developed its own range of SNP genotyping chemistry and instrumentation. Now called LGC Genomics.
MAS Marker Assisted Selection
The use of DNA markers to improve response to selection. The markers will be closely linked to one or more target loci.
MLPA Multiple Ligation-Dependent Probe Amplification
A multiplex PCR based method using probes to distinguish between sequences which differ in only one nucleotide.
MoU Memorandum of Understanding
NGO Non-Governmental Organisations are legally constituted corporations created by natural or legal people that operate independently from any form of government. The term originated from the United Nations, and normally refers to organisations that are not a part of a government and are not conventional for-profit businesses.
Orphan Legumes Legumes which have been overlooked in terms of genetic advancement by other funders. The Trust considers cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L.), Dolichos (Lablab purpureus), horsegram (Macrotyloma uniflorum (Lam.) Verdc.) and moth bean (Phaseolus acontifolia Jacq) to be orphan legumes.
PCR Polymerase Chain Reaction
A technique for rapidly producing many copies of a fragment of DNA for diagnostic or research purposes.
Bean Breeders' Molecular Marker Toolbox developed by the UC Davis. Designed to be used as a searchable marker database, a genome browser and a tool for comparative mapping for Phaseolus vulgaris and other leguminous species.
Phenotype The observable physical or biochemical characteristics of an organism that are determined by a combination of the genetic composition (genotype) and the environment of the individual (P = G x E).
PI Principal Investigator is the lead scientist for a particular science (or other research project).
Polymorphism A change in shape or form from one variation to another. E.g. the sequence in DNA can exist in many different forms.
QTL Quantitative Trait Locus
Stretches of DNA containing or linked to the genes that underlie a quantitative trait.
Registered Seed Produced from foundation or other approved seed stocks. This class of seed shall be of a quality suitable for the production of certified seed, as approved by the certifying agency. This seed is usually, but not always, one generation from foundation seed.
RILs Recombinant Inbred Line population
A recombinant inbred line (RIL) population is developed through single seed descent from the F2 generation. The result is a set of homogeneous, homozygous lines for which large amounts of seed can be produced for replicated trials. This type of population is often useful for mapping QTLs.
RR Root Rot
A disease of plants mainly induced by parasitic Pythium species and characterised by impeded root function resulting in wilting and death of plant.
Seed Certification Various different processes exist across the world for seed certification. In England and Wales Seed Certification is a quality assurance process which ensures that seeds are sufficiently pure, healthy, viable and correctly labelled. Seed marketing is regulated and, for most agricultural and vegetable species, only seeds which have been certified may be sold.
Seed Classes There are four classes (generations) of certified seed. In order of genetic purity they are breeder, foundation, registered and certified seed. Please see separate entries for definitions on these classes.
Sericulture Another term for silk farming.
SNP Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
Genetic variation in a DNA sequence that occurs when a single nucleotide in a genome is altered.
SSD Single-seed Descent
Deriving a population of inbred plants by self-pollinating individuals for several generations. A method of genetic selection where a single seed from each parent plant is at random selected to grow the resulting generations from until a genetically stable plant has been produced.
SSR Simple Sequence Repeat
A section of DNA consisting of very short nucleotide sequences repeated many times, the number of repeats varying between members of the species.
Striga Parasitic weed (common name 'witchweed').
The genus Striga (family Scrophulariaceae) includes a large number of tropical parasitic or hemi-parasitic plants.
Taq polymerase An enzyme originally isolated from a bacterium, which is used to synthesise DNA at high temperature.
Thrips Cowpea flower thrips, Megalurothrips Sjostedti, feeds on the bud, which results in browning, distortion and abscission of floral parts.
Under Utilised Crops Used interchangeably with Orphan Legumes.
WACC West African Cowpea Consortium
Kirkhouse Trust breeding programme for resistance to Striga and other contraints by MAS.