Genetic improvement of pea to replace soyabean in the diets of poultry and monogastric livestock (PeaGen)

Lead Research Organisation: Aberystwyth University
Department Name: IBERS

Abstract

Higher agricultural productivity and sustainability is critical to meeting the global challenges of food security in the presence of climate change. Legume crops are a critical source of plant-based proteins for people and animals. As the world demand for animal products increases, the demand for vegetable proteins as animal feedstocks also rises and the UK in common with other countries faces a shortfall in domestic vegetable protein production capability. In the EU 70% of the protein fed to animals is imported, mostly soyabean or soya meal with soya meal accounting for 33% of the protein in UK livestock feeds. In 2011-12 UK imports of soya products reached 1.83 million tonnes, the majority of this being transgenic soya imported from South America. Increasing the amount of UK grown protein to replace imported soya products is recognised as a major challenge for the UK animal feed sector.

In this LINK proposal we will develop and apply new genetic approaches to enhance the nutritional value (protein and water soluble carbohydrate) of the pea (Pisum sativum L.) seed, to increase the use of pea as a high quality feed in animal diets, reducing the UK protein deficit from the import of soya products and also delivering environmental benefits to livestock production systems. The proposal builds on knowledge gained in BBSRC, EU, Defra, Innovate UK and levy board-funded research on the genetics and agronomy of pulses that have led to the development of novel lines of pea with higher protein content. We will use our expertise in plant genomics, pea genetics and breeding, agronomy, plant chemistry and animal nutrition to integrate the germplasm with improved grain composition into improved pea varieties. With industry partners from the poultry and pig sector as well as crop developers, we will analyse the impact of replacing soya with these new pea varieties in feed rations on the growth of monogastrics and poultry and the economic and environmental impact of their inclusion. Although the focus is on poultry and monogastrics, the project will provide information on the value of including these new pea lines for other sectors (ruminants and aquaculture).

Technical Summary

A challenge faced by the UK and EU livestock sector is the current shortfall in domestically produced protein for animal feed. The UK is almost completely reliant on imported soyabean and soya meal to make up this deficit. We propose to address this issue by developing and applying new genetic approaches to improve the nutritional value of pea (protein quality and content), allowing us to develop new varieties of pea that can replace soya products in UK agriculture, improving the efficiency and sustainability of UK livestock production.

Null mutants for the production of the vicilin family of globular storage proteins have been developed at JIC. It is hypothesised that, in combination, these mutants will either reduce the overall production of storage proteins in the seed or divert available amino acids into the production of other proteins, namely legumins. Preliminary investigations have demonstrated that these mutants exhibit no penalties in growth or germination. Protein content is equal to the wild type in all but one line where the protein content is elevated by 3-4%. These mutants have been generated in research lines that are agronomically poor and not suited for agricultural use. A breeding programme using marker assisted selection and speed breeding will be used to combine these mutations into an agronomic background suited for animal feeding.

The advanced lines will be phenotyped to assess the impact, if any, of these mutations on performance, including pest and disease tolerance, vigour, crop development, lodging, maturity and yield, and to determine their protein content and quality. The most promising lines will then be assessed in animal feeding trials to evaluate their effect on the growth rate of pigs and poultry. Economic and life cycle analyses will be carried out to fully quantify the value of replacing soya based feed with the improved pea varieties. Material developed in this project will be developed further as commercial pea varieties.

Planned Impact

The major beneficiaries of this research will be:

Animal feed industry: Replacing the imports of soya with home grown protein that can be utilised within animal feed is a major objective of the animal feed sector. Development of pea varieties that combine increased seed protein whilst maintaining agronomic performance provides a major opportunity for the different animal feed sectors to increase the proportion of protein produced in the UK. Although this project is primarily focused on the pig and poultry sectors the outcomes from the project will also have direct relevance for the ruminant and aquaculture sectors.

Arable sector: The project will have a significant economic and environmental benefit on the arable sector. Grain legumes such as pea can be grown in arable rotations across the UK, are an excellent break crop and have a major role in sustainable arable rotations. Application of the different technologies within this project to breed pea varieties that have improved seed quality that meet the feed requirements of the different animal feed sectors, whilst ensuring that they have the agronomic performance that will maintain the economics of growing the crop, will enhance the value of peas to the arable sector. This will ensure that peas remain a competitive crop for arable production and that the benefit of growing peas in arable rotations is realised.

Plant breeding community: Information on the use of the Taqman assay for validation of genetic material and the use of microsatellites and other markers to eliminate the introgression of undesirable genetic traits into elite pea lines will be of value to plant breeders. Specifically the integration of pea germplasm with improved seed quality (protein) into a commercially facing pea breeding programme will be of value to other breeders of pea and other pulses.

Society: Direct benefit will be gained from the development of an economically sustainable protein crop that can be grown within the UK and which can replace some of the imported soya that is currently used as the protein source in many animal feedstuffs. Increasing the proportion of protein used in animal feedstuffs that can be grown within the UK will have direct benefits in terms of improved food security but will also help to broaden and diversify arable cropping within the UK.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Crosses of commercial pea lines have been made that incorporate the desired mutations as determined through marker assisted selection
Exploitation Route Further crosses are being made to combine the mutations
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink

 
Description Member of new BBSRC steering group on Legumes
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
 
Description Taught MSc training
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
 
Description BBSRC Core Strategic Programme in Resilient Crops: Oats
Amount £946,220 (GBP)
Funding ID BBS/E/W/0012843B 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2017 
End 03/2022
 
Description Breeding forage and grain legumes to increase EU's and China's protein self-sufficiency
Amount € 7,787,192 (EUR)
Funding ID 727312 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 09/2017 
End 08/2021
 
Description Future Foods
Amount £1,900,000 (GBP)
Organisation European Commission 
Department European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
Sector Public
Country Belgium
Start 09/2018 
End 04/2021
 
Description Pea Genetic Improvment Network
Amount £26,000 (GBP)
Organisation Department For Environment, Food And Rural Affairs (DEFRA) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2018 
End 03/2021
 
Description Cereals 2018 - 12th-14th June 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Cereals 2018 - 12th-14th June, project represented by IBERS & Senova
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Feed for efficiency and reduce emissions 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Article in Cow Management trade magazine about using improved forage varieties for more efficient livestock production.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description IBERS (CH/SC/DL) presentation at Food & Drink Wales - Future Foods, 14th Jan 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact IBERS (CH/SC/DL) presentation at Food & Drink Wales - Future Foods, 14th Jan 2019
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description IBERS participation in crop diversity meeting, Brussels, 27/3/19 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact IBERS (CH) participation in crop diversity meeting, Brussels, 27/3/19
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description IBERS presentation at BIC Innovation event, Anglesey, on green protein and oat products 16/7/19 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact IBERS presentation at BIC Innovation event, Anglesey, on green protein and oat products 16/7/19
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Invited presentations at New Breeding Technologies meeting, Organic Research Centre Oct 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited presentations at New Breeding Technologies meeting, Organic Research Centre Oct 2019 - Catherine Howarth & Tim Langdon, IBERS
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description JIC Breeders Day, 6/6/19. Tour of pea cage and field plots. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Tour of pea cage and field plots at Church Farm, Bawburgh, Norwich; JIC Breeders' Day 6/6/19. Generated feedback and discussion.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description JIC Tour of plots and facilities 5/7/19 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact JIC tour of pea cage, field plots and Dorothea de Winton building at Church Farm, Bawburgh, Norwich, for JIC teams and QIB (Quadram Institute BioScience), 5/7/19. Generated feedback and discussion
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description JIC Tour of plots and facilities by Genetics Society 25/6/19 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Tour of JIC pea cage, field plots and Dorothea de Winton building at Church Farm, Bawburgh, Norwich, for Genetics Society, 25/6/19. Generated feedback and discussion.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description PGRO Pulse Panel Meeting 19/2/18 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact PGRO Pulse Panel Meeting 19/2/18 - introduction to project
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description PGRO Pulse Panel Meeting 24th Feb 2021 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Project included in update and presentations as part of PGRO Pulse Panel Meeting, 14th Feb 2021.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description PGRO Pulse Panel Meeting 26th Feb 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact PGRO Pulse Panel Meeting 26th Feb 2019 - project update
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description PGRO Pulse Panel Meeting 5th Nov 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact PGRO Pulse Panel Meeting 5th Nov 2018 - update on project
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Participation in MonoGram event, Bristol - 4th-6th April 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Participation in MonoGram event, Bristol - 4th-6th April 2017
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.monogram.ac.uk/MgNW2017.php
 
Description Participation in the "Taste of Wales" event - 23rd March 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Participation in the "Taste of Wales" event - 23rd March 2017. Event linking academia/industry/supply chain.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description PeaGen article in PGRO "Pulse Magazine" Winter 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact PeaGen article in PGRO "Pulse Magazine" Winter 2017, announcing the start of the project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.pgro.org/pulse-magazine-winter-2017/mobile/index.html#p=8
 
Description PeaGen poster displayed at PGRO Pulse Open Day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact PeaGen poster displayed at PGRO Pulse Open Day
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description PeaGen poster displayed at PGRO Pulse Open Day 2/7/19 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact PeaGen poster displayed at PGRO Pulse Open Day 2/7/19
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description PeaGen project featured at PGRO Pulse Panel meeting 8/11/19 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact PeaGen project update included in PGRO Pulse Panel meeting 8/11/19
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description PeaGen project included in discussions at TRUE Project meeting, PGRO, 9/7/19 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact PeaGen project included in discussions at TRUE Project meeting, PGRO, 9/7/19
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description PeaGen project update by PGRO as part of PCGIN stakeholder meeting 14/11/19 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact PeaGen project update by PGRO as part of PCGIN stakeholder meeting 14/11/19
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description PeaGen update and discussion included in PGRO Pulse Panel Meeting 26/2/20 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact PeaGen update and discussion included in PGRO Pulse Panel Meeting 26/2/20
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Poster displayed by PGRO at Cereals Event 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact PeaGen poster displayed by PGRO at Cereals Event 2019
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Presentation for Cereals Live 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation produced for Cereals Live to replace the usual in-person event.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONCffGzznI0
 
Description Project involvement in IBERS BioBank Seed Store launch activities 25/10/19 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Project involvement in IBERS BioBank Seed Store launch activities 25/10/19
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Project involvement in IBERS Centenary of Plant Breeding event 2/7/19 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Project involvement in IBERS Centenary of Plant Breeding event 2/7/19
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Project team presence at Cereals Event 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Project team presence at Cereals Event 2019 - Senova, IBERS, AHDB - 12th-13th June 2019, Boothby Graffoe, Lincs
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Senova stand at AICC (Association of Independent Crop Consultants) annual conference - January 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Senova attended the AICC (Association of Independent Crop Consultants) annual conference exhibitors afternoon in January and discussed the project with delegates visiting the stand. The event is attended by agronomists from around the country.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.aicc.org.uk/
 
Description Talk by C Domoney, JIC, at International Conference on Legume Genetics and Genomics, 14/5/19 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk by C. Domoney, JIC. Genetics and genomics of seed quality traits in pea; International Conference on Legume Genetics and Genomics conference 14/5/19. Generated feedback and discussion.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Talk by C Domoney, JIC, at The Rank Prize Symposium 12/3/19 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk by C. Domoney. Exploiting genetic variation in legume seed composition and structure; The Rank Prize Symposium 'Designing Food Structure to Control Digestion and Improve Health Impacts' 12th March 2019. Generated feedback and discussion.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Talk by C. Domoney, 10/12/19. Presentation to John Innes Centre Governing Council 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk by C. Domoney, 10/12/19. Presentation to John Innes Centre Governing Council. Generated feedback and discussion.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Talk by C. Domoney, JIC, 12/12/19. The Potential and Power of Pea Protein; Royal Society - Future food: health and sustainability conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk by C. Domoney, JIC, 12/12/19. The Potential and Power of Pea Protein; Royal Society - Future food: health and sustainability conference. Generated feedback and discussion.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Talk by C. Domoney, JIC. Improving nutritional and health-associated traits in Pisum sativum (pea) Third International Legume Society Conference ILS3 2019. 23/5/19 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk by C. Domoney, JIC. Improving nutritional and health-associated traits in Pisum sativum (pea) Third International Legume Society Conference ILS3 2019. 23/5/19. Generated feedback and discussion.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Talk by C. Domoney, JIC. Study tour visit from fellows of the Royal Agricultural Society England (RASE) 1/5/19 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Talk by C. Domoney, JIC. Study tour visit from fellows of the Royal Agricultural Society England (RASE) 1/5/19. Generated feedback and discussion.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Visit to Nanjing Agricultural University and Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Gave a talk on work being carried out in PeaGen to international audience
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018