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Concept: Bean


The role of predators in food webs extends beyond their ability to kill and consume prey. Such trait-mediated effects occur when signals of the predator influence the behaviour of other animals. Because all spiders are silk-producing carnivores, we hypothesized that silk alone would signal other arthropods and enhance non-lethal effects of spiders. We quantified the herbivory inflicted by two beetle species on green bean plants (Phaseolus vulgaris) in the presence of silkworm silk and spider silk along with no silk controls. Single leaflets were treated and enclosed with herbivores in the laboratory and field. Another set of leaflets were treated and left to experience natural herbivory in the field. Entire plants in the field were treated with silk and enclosed with herbivores or left exposed to herbivory. In all cases, the lowest levels of herbivory occurred with spider silk treatments and, in general, silkworm silk produced intermediate levels of leaf damage. These results suggest that silk may be a mechanism for the trait-mediated impacts of spiders and that it might contribute to integrated pest management programmes.

Concepts: Insect, Predation, Animal, Arachnid, Silk, Spider, Common bean, Bean


Legumes are the third largest family of angiosperms and the second most important crop class. Legume genomes have been shaped by extensive large-scale gene duplications, including an approximately 58 million year old whole genome duplication shared by most crop legumes.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Genome, RNA, Gene duplication, Fabaceae, Legume, Bean


Transgenic crops containing the bacteriumBacillus thuringiensis(Bt) genes reduce pests and insecticide usage, promote biocontrol services, and economically benefit growers. Area-wide Bt adoption suppresses pests regionally, with declines expanding beyond the planted Bt crops into other non-Bt crop fields. However, the offsite benefits to growers of other crops from such regional suppression remain uncertain. With data spanning 1976-2016, we demonstrate that vegetable growers benefit via decreased crop damage and insecticide applications in relation to pest suppression in the Mid-Atlantic United States. We provide evidence for the regional suppression ofOstrinia nubilalis(Hübner), European corn borer, andHelicoverpa zea(Boddie), corn earworm, populations in association with widespread Bt maize adoption (1996-2016) and decreased economic levels for injury in vegetable crops [peppers (Capsicum annuumL.), green beans (Phaseolus vulgarisL.), and sweet corn (Zea maysL., convar.saccharata)] compared with the pre-Bt period (1976-1995). Moth populations of both species significantly declined in association with widespread Bt maize (field corn) adoption, even as increased temperatures buffered the population reduction. We show marked decreases in the number of recommended insecticidal applications, insecticides applied, andO. nubilalisdamage in vegetable crops in association with widespread Bt maize adoption. These offsite benefits to vegetable growers in the agricultural landscape have not been previously documented, and the positive impacts identified here expand on the reported ecological effects of Bt adoption. Our results also underscore the need to account for offsite economic benefits of pest suppression, in addition to the direct economic benefits of Bt crops.

Concepts: United States, Vegetable, Maize, Bean, Transgenic maize, Sweet corn, Native American cuisine, Corn on the cob


Kidney beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.), are common legumes, consumed worldwide. The delicacy of kidney beans is highly appreciable but, at the same time, their toxicity has raised an alarming concern. Kidney bean toxicity may be divided into two subcategories: toxicity caused by its lectins, saponins, phytates, and protease inhibitors or allergenicity induced by its allergenic proteins. The purpose of this review is to unravel the facts behind the different aspects of toxicity and allergenicity induced by kidney beans and try to fill the gaps that exist currently.

Concepts: Pulse, Fabaceae, Legume, Common bean, Bean, Phaseolus, Phaseoleae, Three Sisters


Consumption of pulse crops, including field pea, is considered effective for a healthy diet. Hulls (seed coats) play an important role for protection of the cotyledon and embryo, but also as mediating positive effects on health outcomes. The biochemical attributes of field pea hulls were thus assessed to determine the occurrence of specific phytochemicals and their genotypic variability.

Concepts: Genetics, Health, Nutrition, Pea, Fabaceae, Seed, Legume, Bean


Epidemiological studies have shown that regular consumption of fruits and vegetables is associated with reduced risk of chronic diseases. It is recommended to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables to prevent chronic diseases related to free radical-induced oxidative stress. Different varieties of fruits and vegetables provide different vitamins, phenolics, flavonoids, minerals, and dietary fibers for optimal health benefits. Mung bean sprouts are one of the major vegetables in human diet. However, the profiles of phytochemicals and effect of germination on phytochemical content and antioxidant activity of mung bean sprouts have not been studied. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of germination on phytochemical profiles and antioxidant activity of mung bean sprouts. Germination of mung beans dramatically increased vitamin C content in mung bean sprouts in a time-dependent manner and reached the peak on day 8 of germination up to 285 mg/100 g DW, almost 24 times higher than the initial concentration in mung bean seeds (p < 0.05). On fresh weight basis, one serving of mung bean sprouts (about 104 g) provides 21.6 mg of vitamin C, which could meet 36% of Daily Value (DV). In addition, the germination dramatically increased total phenolic compounds and total flavonoids in mung bean sprouts in a time-dependent manner, up to 4.5 and 6.8 times higher than the original concentration of mung bean seeds, respectively. Quercetin-3-O-glucoside content was significantly increased in mung bean sprouts after germination. The total antioxidant activity of mung bean sprouts was increased by 6 times higher than that of mung bean seeds. Therefore, the germination of mung bean sprouts significantly increased phytochemical content, vitamin C content, and antioxidant activity.

Concepts: Nutrition, Antioxidant, Vitamin C, Seed, Vigna, Bean, Phaseolus, Mung bean


Dietary fiber (DF) has important health benefits in the human diet. Developing dry edible bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) cultivars with improved DF and reduced non-digestible oligosaccharides content is an important goal for dry bean breeders to increase consumer acceptance. To determine if genetic variation exists among dry bean cultivars for DF, two populations of diverse dry bean cultivars/lines that represent two centers of dry bean domestication were evaluated for dietary fiber using the Integrated Total Dietary Fiber Assay (AOAC 2011.25). This assay was adapted to measure water-insoluble dietary fiber (IDF), water-soluble dietary fiber (SDF), oligosaccharides raffinose and stachyose, and the calculated total dietary fiber (TDF) content in cooked dry bean seeds. The AOAC 2011.25 protocol was modified by using a quick, simple and sensitive HPLC paired with electrochemical detection method to separate and quantify specific oligosaccharides, and using duplicate samples as replicates to generate statistical information. The TDF of dry bean entries ranged from 20.0 to 27.0% in Population I and from 20.6 to 25.7% in Population II. Total oligosaccharides ranged from 2.56 to 4.65% in Population I and 2.36 to 3.84% in Population II. The results suggest that significant genetic variation exists among dry bean cultivars/lines to allow for genetic selection for improved DF content in dry bean, and that the modifications to the AOAC 2011.25 method were suitable to estimate DF in cooked dry edible beans.

Concepts: Natural selection, Nutrition, Dietary fiber, Common bean, Bean, Phaseolus, Raffinose, Beans


Different legume seeds may have different protein compositions and properties, thereby affecting applications in food systems. This study aimed to extract and characterize protein isolates from legumes grown in Thailand, including mung bean (MBPI), black bean (BBPI) and bambara groundnut (BGPI).

Concepts: Nitrogen, Pea, Fabaceae, Seed, Legume, Peanut, Common bean, Bean


Since ancient times in the Americas, maize, bean and squash have been grown together in a polyculture known as the ‘three sisters’. This polyculture and its maize/bean variant have greater yield than component monocultures on a land-equivalent basis. This study shows that below-ground niche complementarity may contribute to this yield advantage.

Concepts: United States, Maize, Mexico, North America, Mesoamerica, Bean, Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Three Sisters


Anthracnose caused by Colletotrichum lindemuthianum is an important disease of common bean, resulting in major economic losses worldwide. Genetic diversity of the C. lindemuthianum population contributes to its ability to adapt rapidly to new sources of host resistance. The origin of this diversity is unknown, but sexual recombination, via the Glomerella teleomorph, is one possibility. This study tested the hypothesis that Glomerella strains that are frequently recovered from bean anthracnose lesions represent the teleomorph of C. lindemuthianum. A large collection of Glomerella isolates could be separated into two groups based on phylogenetic analysis, morphology, and pathogenicity to beans. Both groups were unrelated to C. lindemuthianum. One group clustered with the C. gloeosporioides species complex and produced mild symptoms on bean tissues. The other group, which belonged to a clade that included the cucurbit anthracnose pathogen C. magna, caused no symptoms. Individual ascospores recovered from Glomerella perithecia gave rise to either fertile (perithecial) or infertile (conidial) colonies. Some pairings of perithecial and conidial strains resulted in induced homothallism in the conidial partner, while others led to apparent heterothallic matings. Pairings involving two perithecial, or two conidial, colonies produced neither outcome. Conidia efficiently formed conidial anastomosis tubes (CATs), but ascospores never formed CATs. The Glomerella strains formed appressoria and hyphae on the plant surface, but did not penetrate or form infection structures within the tissues. Their behavior was similar whether the beans were susceptible or resistant to anthracnose. These same Glomerella strains produced thick intracellular hyphae, and eventually acervuli, if host cell death was induced. When Glomerella was co-inoculated with C. lindemuthianum, it readily invaded anthracnose lesions. Thus, the hypothesis was not supported: Glomerella strains from anthracnose lesions do not represent the teleomorphic phase of C. lindemuthianum, and instead appear to be bean epiphytes that opportunistically invade and sporulate in the lesions.

Concepts: Fungal morphology and anatomy, Common bean, Bean, Phaseolus, Ascus, Colletotrichum, Colletotrichum lindemuthianum, Conidial anastomosis tubes