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Concept: Legume


This study presents a novel way of enhancing plant growth through the use of a non-petroleum based product. We report here that exposing either roots or seeds of multicellular plants to extremely low concentrations of dissolved hydrogen sulfide at any stage of life causes statistically significant increases in biomass including higher fruit yield. Individual cells in treated plants were smaller (∼13%) than those of controls. Germination success and seedling size increased in, bean, corn, wheat, and pea seeds while time to germination decreases. These findings indicated an important role of H2S as a signaling molecule that can increase the growth rate of all species yet tested. The increased crop yields reported here has the potential to effect the world’s agricultural output.

Concepts: Plant, Pea, Fruit, Seed, Legume, Plant morphology, Germination, Yield


The anticancer effects of legumes have been explored extensively, but evidence from epidemiologic studies on colorectal adenoma is controversial. We performed a meta-analysis to assess these issues.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Observational study, Meta-analysis, Legume, Legumes


In complex and ever-changing environments, resources such as food are often scarce and unevenly distributed in space and time. Therefore, utilizing external cues to locate and remember high-quality sources allows more efficient foraging, thus increasing chances for survival. Associations between environmental cues and food are readily formed because of the tangible benefits they confer. While examples of the key role they play in shaping foraging behaviours are widespread in the animal world, the possibility that plants are also able to acquire learned associations to guide their foraging behaviour has never been demonstrated. Here we show that this type of learning occurs in the garden pea, Pisum sativum. By using a Y-maze task, we show that the position of a neutral cue, predicting the location of a light source, affected the direction of plant growth. This learned behaviour prevailed over innate phototropism. Notably, learning was successful only when it occurred during the subjective day, suggesting that behavioural performance is regulated by metabolic demands. Our results show that associative learning is an essential component of plant behaviour. We conclude that associative learning represents a universal adaptive mechanism shared by both animals and plants.

Concepts: Psychology, Plant, Animal, Pea, Fabaceae, Annual plant, Fruit, Legume


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


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


Mucuna pruriens Linn. (M. pruriens) is a leguminous plant that has been recognized as an herbal medicine for improving fertility and related disorders in the Indian traditional system of medicine, however without proper scientific validations.

Concepts: DNA, Bacteria, Evolution, Adenosine triphosphate, Eukaryote, Mitochondrion, Legume, Mucuna pruriens


BACKGROUND: Yellow lupin (Lupinus luteus L.) is a minor legume crop characterized by its high seed protein content. Although grown in several temperate countries, its orphan condition has limited the generation of genomic tools to aid breeding efforts to improve yield and nutritional quality. In this study, we report the construction of 454-expresed sequence tag (EST) libraries, carried out comparative studies between L. luteus and model legume species, developed a comprehensive set of EST-simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers, and validated their utility on diversity studies and transferability to related species. RESULTS: Two runs of 454 pyrosequencing yielded 205 Mb and 530 Mb of sequence data for L1 (young leaves, buds and flowers) and L2 (immature seeds) EST- libraries. A combined assembly (L1L2) yielded 71,655 contigs with an average contig length of 632 nucleotides. L1L2 contigs were clustered into 55,309 isotigs. 38,200 isotigs translated into proteins and 8,741 of them were full length. Around 57% of L. luteus sequences had significant similarity with at least one sequence of Medicago, Lotus, Arabidopsis, or Glycine, and 40.17% showed positive matches with all of these species. L. luteus isotigs were also screened for the presence of SSR sequences. A total of 2,572 isotigs contained at least one EST-SSR, with a frequency of one SSR per 17.75kbp. Empirical evaluation of the EST-SSR candidate markers resulted in 222 polymorphic EST-SSRs. Two hundred and fifty four (65.7%) and 113 (30%) SSR primer pairs were able to amplify fragments from L. hispanicus and L. mutabilis DNA, respectively. Fifty polymorphic EST-SSRs were used to genotype a sample of 64 L. luteus accessions. Neighbor-joining distance analysis detected the existence of several clusters among L. luteus accessions, strongly suggesting the existence of population subdivisions. However, no clear clustering patterns followed the accession’s origin. CONCLUSION: L. luteus deep transcriptome sequencing will facilitate the further development of genomic tools and lupin germplasm. Massive sequencing of cDNA libraries will continue to produce raw materials for gene discovery, identification of polymorphisms (SNPs, EST-SSRs, INDELs, etc.) for marker development, anchoring sequences for genome comparisons and putative gene candidates for QTL detection.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Genetics, Molecular biology, Sequence, Legume, Lupin, Lupinus


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


Dairy cattle often make poor use of protein when offered diets comprising high proportions of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) hay or silage because nonprotein N formed during forage conservation and ruminal fermentation exceeds requirements for rumen microbial protein synthesis; however, condensed tannins (CT) may reduce proteolysis in the silo and in the rumen, thereby potentially improving the efficiency of crude protein (CP) use in ruminant diets. Two harvests, yielding 12 hays and 12 silages made from alfalfa and birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus L.) that varied in concentrations of CT, were evaluated for in situ disappearance kinetics of CP in 6 ruminally cannulated lactating Holstein dairy cows (627 ± 56.3 kg). Prior to conservation, alfalfa contained no detectable CT, whereas CT in fresh lyophilized birdsfoot trefoil ranged from 1.16 to 2.77% of dry matter, as determined by a modified acetone-butanol-HCl assay. Percentages of CP remaining at each incubation time were fitted to nonlinear regression models with or without a discrete lag time. Effective ruminal disappearance of CP (rumen-degradable protein, RDP) was calculated by 3 procedures that included (1) no discrete lag (RDPNL), (2) discrete lag (RDPL), and (3) discrete lag with a lag adjustment (RDPLADJ). Regardless of the calculation method, RDP declined linearly with increasing CT concentrations (R(2) = 0.62 to 0.97). Generally, tests of homogeneity showed that conservation type (hay or silage) or harvest (silage only) affected intercepts, but not slopes in regressions of RDP on CT. A positive relationship between lag time and CT suggests that the RDPLADJ approach may be most appropriate for calculating RDP for legumes containing tannins. With this approach, regression intercepts were mainly affected by conservation method, and RDPLADJ averaged 77.5 and 88.7% of CP for hay and silage, respectively, when no CT was present. Greater estimates of RDP for silages were related to extensive proteolysis in laboratory silos resulting in conversions of protein into nonprotein N forms, which readily washed out of Dacron bags. When RDPLADJ and CT were expressed on a CP basis, regression slopes indicated that each unit of CT protected 0.61 U of CP from ruminal degradation in hays and silages. Applying this relationship to a typical mid-maturity forage legume containing 21% CP suggests that a CT concentration of 3.8% of DM would be required to reduce RDP from 81% to a 70% target considered optimal for improving protein utilization and milk yields by dairy cattle.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Milk, Cattle, Dairy cattle, Legume, Alfalfa, Hay, Lotus corniculatus