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Improving the quality of grass-pea, a rich crop for malnourished people in the developing world (Ethiopia, India and Bangladesh)

Objective



LATHYRUS SATIVUS (GRASS PEA) IN THE CHEAPEST LEGUME SEED AVAILABLE ON INDIA AND BANGLADESHI MARKETS. AT THE SAME TIME IT HAS THE HIGHEST PROTEIN VALUE AND ITS CULTURE IS LEAST AFFECTED BY ADVERSE CLIMATIC CONDITIONS AND PESTS. THIS PLANT MAY BECOME THE "NUTRITIONAL VOLKSWAGEN" FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES IF THE NEUROTOXIN ODAP, PRESENT IN ITS SEEDS, COULD BE REMOVED SAFELY AND CHEAPLY WITHOUT LOOSING ITS NUTRITIONAL VALUE, OR IF NON-TOXIC VARIETIES COULD BE DEVELOPED OR PRODUCED BY GENETIC ENGINEERING. THE PROGRAMME PROPOSED INVOLVES A MULTIPRONGED AND MULTIDFISCIPLINARY APPROACH THAT WILL COMBINE EXPERTISES IN AREAS OF
- EPIDEMIOLOGY, TO ASSESS THE EXTEND OF THE LATHYRISM PROBLEM IN ETHIOPIA - NEUROLOGY, TO STUDY THE EVOLUTION OF THE DISEASE IN BANGLADESH AND TO IDENTIFY PRECLINICAL, POTENTIALY REVERSIBLE SYMPTOMS
- FOOD PROCESSING AND NUTRITION TO DEVELOP METHODS TO SAFELY REMOVE THE TOXIN BY BIOLOGICAL (FERMENTATION) OR CHEMICAL (EXTRACTION) TREATMENTS - BIOCHEMISTRY TO DETERMINE AND ISOLATE THE KEY ENZYMES FOR THE BIOSYNTHESIS OF THE TOXIN. IN ANIMAL MODELS, THE THRESHOLD FOR THE TOXICITY AND POTENTIAL PROTECTION BY VITAMINES OR MEDICINES WILL BE EVALUATED - MOLECULAR GENETICS TO PRODUCE TRANSGENIC PLANTS WHERE THE PRODUCTION OF THE TOXIN WOULD BE BLOCKED
- AGRONOMISTS TO EVALUATE THE NEWLY OBTAINED CULTIVARS UNDER DIFFERENT CLIMIATIC CONDITIONS (ETHIOPIAN DRY HIGHLANDS, BANGLADESHI HUMID LOWLANDS, INDIAN DRY LOWLANDS AND SALINE LANDS AT THE COASTLINE OF BANGLADESH). THE PROPOSED PROGRAMME COMPLEMENTS PROJECTS CURRENTLY GOING ON IN SEVERAL COUNTRIES, SPONSORED BY I.D.R.C., CANADA, B.A.D.C., BELGIUM, AND BAND AID, UNDER THE GLOBAL UMBRELLA OF I.N.I.L.S.E.L. (INTERNATIONAL NETWORK FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF LATHYRUS SATIVUS AND THE ERADICATION OF LATHYRISM) AND ITS SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEES.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

Universiteit Gent
Address
185,De Pintelaan
9000 Gent
Belgium

Participants (6)

Addis Ababa University
Ethiopia
Address

2003 Addis-abeba
Addis Ababa University
Ethiopia
Address

2003 Addis-abeba
Indira Gandhi Agricultural University
India
Address
Krishak Nagar
492012 Raipur (M.p.)
King's College London
United Kingdom
Address
Campden Hill Road
W8 7AH London
Marathwada Agricultural University
India
Address
Ms 431 402
431401 Parbhani
University of Dhaka
Bangladesh
Address

1000 Dhaka