Lupinus mutabilis in Ecuador with special emphasis on anthracnose resistance

C. Falconi

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


The Tailoring Food Sciences to Endogenous Patterns of  Local Food Supply for Future Nutrition (TELFUN) project aimed to support people to choose their own way of producing, processing, and consuming local foods that fit best in their local conditions. The central research question was: how do technological practices, developed from within food networks, enhance food-sovereignty and the nutritional status of people? TELFUN was an interdisciplinary and comparative research program based on twelve research projects, divided in four disciplines and carried out in three geographical locations. Its scientific development was divided in four disciplines - plant breeding, food technology, human nutrition, and sociology of science and technology - for a more complete understanding of the production, processing, utilization and consumption of lupin in Ecuador. Similar studies took place in West Africa and cowpea and India with mungbean ( The lupin (Lupinus mutabilis) is a native legume of the Andean zone. Like other species of lupin it has easily adapted to marginal regions with limited water supply and poor nourished soils. As compared to other legumes used in human nutrition, lupin seeds have high protein, and variable iron and zinc content. These are just a few attributes that make the Andean lupin be considered a food of the future ( Disadvantages of lupine are its high susceptibility to anthracnose and its high content of alkaloids (which have to be removed by processing). A specific research question to tackle lupin production in Ecuador was studied in the breeding discipline: How do exploratory studies, both on the pathogen and on the lupin genetic diversity, contribute to the development of better lupin varieties in the Cotopaxi province - Ecuador?

Chapter 1 presents the importance, nutritional value, agronomical characteristics and breeding for anthracnose resistance of lupin in Ecuador. In Chapter 2, the actual lupin production, a number of agronomic characteristics, the nutritional value and anthracnose susceptibility of a set of lupin cultivars were determined.  The importance of characterizing genetic resources of L. mutabilis for crop improvement is outlined. In Chapter3, morphological, molecular and pathological methods were developed to identify the causal agent of anthracnose in lupin and tamarillo (another Andean native crop). Anthracnose diversity and the phylogenetic relationships between isolates of both hosts were studied. The techniques developed can be used to identify and monitor the dominant Colletotrichum species in the multi cropping Andean system to establish an appropriate disease management and breeding strategies. In Chapter 4, anthracnose susceptibility and the disease development of lupin cultivars was assessed under natural infection of C. acutatum. Seed samples of naturally infected plants were used to determine the level of anthracnose infection in seeds. Recommendations are made to reduce the impact of the disease in the field and for the appropriate local management of lupin seed until new anthracnose resistant lupin varieties are developed. In Chapter 5, the development of methods for screening anthracnose resistance in individual lupin plants are described. Inoculation methods, phenological stages and the relation of resistance and alkaloid content are discussed. In Chapter 6, we put in perspective our findings and the appropriate methodologies we developed for starting an Andean lupin breeding program with emphases on anthracnose resistance.

In conclusion, lupin can play an important role in increasing living conditions of the poor farmers in Ecuador. It is needed that the agro-ecological production systems are maintained by using sustainable farming methods. The use of disease free lupin seed is of utmost importance and a good understanding of the plant– pathogen interactions can increase yield. Lupin breeding should aim at anthracnose resistance, high yielding varieties, and cultivars with high levels of protein and micronutrients.  Having high-quality lupin cultivars will, together with the results in the other three disciplines - food technology, human nutrition, and sociology of science and technology –contribute to the food sovereignty concept, that is to connect local networks chains for a better production, processing and consumption of lupin (


Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • Visser, Richard, Promotor
  • van Heusden, Sjaak, Co-promotor
Award date22 Mar 2012
Place of Publication[S.l.]
Print ISBNs9789461732231
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • lupinus mutabilis
  • grain legumes
  • nutritive value
  • fungal diseases
  • colletotrichum acutatum
  • plant pathogenic fungi
  • disease resistance
  • ecuador
  • food sovereignty


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