Glossary

Term / Acronym
Definition
ABC
African Bean Consortium. East African common bean breeding programme for five pathogen constraints my MAS.
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.
APS / TEMED
Ammonium persulphate/N,N,N',N'-tetramethylethylenediamine. Used to polymerise polyacrylamide gels for electrophoresis.
Agronomy
The science of soil management and crop production.
Alectra
Parasitic Weed (common name 'alectra'). The genus Alectra (family Scrophulariaceae) includes a large number of tropical parasitic or hemi-parasitic plants.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dissemination
The act of distributing or spreading widely.
Donor Parent
The parent with favourable genetic material to be transferred to an elite parent. Used to pass genetic traits on through reproduction.
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.
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.
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.
PI
Principal Investigator is the lead scientist for a particular science (or other research project).
PhaseolusGenes
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Striga
Parasitic weed (common name 'witchweed'). The genus Striga (family Scrophulariaceae) includes a large number of tropical parasitic or hemi-parasitic plants.
TEMED
See APS / TEMED
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.
dNTP
Deoxyribonucleotide triphosphate. A generic term referring to the four deoxyribonucleotides: dATP, dCTP, dGTP and dTTP.
hPAGE
Horizontal Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis. A bespoke electrophoresis system developed by Professor Southern and provided to all labs supported by the Kirkhouse Trust.