Submitted to: Complete Book
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: September 15, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Seeds in the legume tribe that includes peas and beans are commercially important in diverse ways ranging from valuable crops to noxious weeds. A comprehensive reference on the seeds of legumes is critically needed so that such seeds can be reliably identified. A manual has been developed that includes a key to identify the seeds of the 452 faboid genera as well as descriptions and illustrations. It provides a comprehensive, useful means for identification of faboid seeds that completes the trilogy of seed identification manuals for all legume genera. This book will be used by plant regulatory and seed trade officials as well as scientists throughout the world.
Identification of fruits and seeds of the economically important legume plant family (Fabaceae or Leguminosae) is often required of U.S. Department of Agriculture personnel and other agricultural scientists. This bulletin provides relevant information on the faboid legumes. New data presented also increase our knowledge of relationships important in germplasm research. Data are derived from extensive sampling of the species of 435 of the 452 genera of faboid legumes. Two keys provide for (1) the differentiation of faboid from other legume seeds and (2) the identification of faboid genera based on seed characters, rarely employing fruit characters. An updated explanation and discussion of fruit and seed characters precede the generic descriptions. The majority of faboid genera do have endosperm, and the most agriculturally important legumes lack it. Lenses, testa structures often contiguous to the hilum, occur in all three legume subfamilies, though less frequently in Caesalpinioideae, and have no diagnostic value for the subfamilies. No faboid seeds have a pleurogram or pseudopleurogram, while they are common in Mimosoideae and rare in Caesalpinioideae. Some seed characteristers are useful for faboid generic identification: aril presence or absence, endosperm presence or absence, radicle concealment by the cotyledons, cotyledon lobes over the radicle presence or absence and condition, overall radicle shape, radicle tip shape, and radicle length relative to that of the cotyledons.