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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


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


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


Microsatellite (simple sequence repeats, SSRs) marker is one of the most widely used markers in marker-assisted breeding. As one type of functional markers, MicroRNA-based SSR (miRNA-SSR) markers have been exploited mainly in animals, but the development and characterization of miRNA-SSR markers in plants are still limited. In the present study, miRNA-SSR markers for Medicago truncatula (M. truncatula) were developed and their cross-species transferability in six leguminous species was evaluated. A total of 169 primer pairs were successfully designed from 130 M. truncatula miRNA genes, the majority of which were mononucleotide repeats (70.41%), followed by dinucleotide repeats (14.20%), compound repeats (11.24%) and trinucleotide repeats (4.14%). Functional classification of SSR-containing miRNA genes showed that all targets could be grouped into three Gene Ontology (GO) categories: 17 in biological process, 11 in molecular function, and 14 in cellular component. The miRNA-SSR markers showed high transferability in other six leguminous species, ranged from 74.56% to 90.53%. Furthermore, 25 Mt-miRNA-SSR markers were used to evaluate polymorphisms in 20 alfalfa accessions, and the polymorphism information content (PIC) values ranged from 0.39 to 0.89 with an average of 0.71, the allele number per marker varied from 3 to 18 with an average of 7.88, indicating a high level of informativeness. The present study is the first time developed and characterized of M. truncatula miRNA-SSRs and demonstrated their utility in transferability, these novel markers will be valuable for genetic diversity analysis, marker-assisted selection and genotyping in leguminous species.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Genetics, Allele, Biology, Fabaceae, Legume, Alfalfa


Plants respond to diurnal and seasonal changes in temperature by reprogramming vital developmental pathways. Understanding the molecular mechanisms that define environmental modulation of plant growth and reproduction is critical in the context of climate change that threatens crop yield worldwide. Here, we report that elevated temperature accelerates fruit dehiscence in members of the Brassicaceae family including the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana and important crop species. Arabidopsis fruit development is controlled by a network of interacting regulatory genes. Among them, the INDEHISCENT (IND) gene is a key regulator of the valve-margin tissue that mediates fruit opening, hence facilitating fruit dehiscence. We demonstrated that the valve-margin development is accelerated at higher temperature and that IND is targeted for thermosensory control. Our results reveal that IND upregulation is facilitated via temperature-induced chromatin dynamics leading to accelerated valve-margin specification and dispersal of the seed. Specifically, we show that temperature-induced changes in IND expression are associated with thermosensory H2A.Z nucleosome dynamics. These findings establish a molecular framework connecting tissue identity with thermal sensing and set out directions for the production of temperature-resilient crops.

Concepts: DNA, Gene expression, Developmental biology, Model organism, Arabidopsis thaliana, Arabidopsis, Legume, Brassicaceae


There is increasing interest in the use of beneficial microorganisms as alternatives to chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilisers in agricultural production. Application of beneficial microorganisms to seeds is an efficient mechanism for placement of microbial inocula into soil where they will be well positioned to colonise seedling roots and protect against soil-borne diseases and pests. However, despite the long history of inoculation of legume seeds with Rhizobia spp. and clear laboratory demonstration of the ability of a wide range of other beneficial microorganisms to improve crop performance, there are still very few commercially available microbial seed inoculants. Seed inoculation techniques used for research purposes are often not feasible at a commercial scale and there are significant technical challenges in maintaining viable microbial inocula on seed throughout commercial seed treatment processes and storage. Further research is needed before the benefits of a wide range of environmentally sensitive potential seed inoculants can be captured for use in agriculture, ecosystem restoration and bioremediation. There is no single solution to the challenge of improving the ability of seed inoculants to establish and function consistently in the field. Development of novel formulations that maintain the viability of both inoculant and seed during storage will result from multidisciplinary research in microbial and seed physiology and adjuvant chemistry.

Concepts: Agriculture, Improve, Microbiology, Chemistry, Nitrogen, Fabaceae, Seed, 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