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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Kirkbride, Joseph - Joe
item Gunn, C
item Dallwitz, M

Submitted to: Abstract of International Horticultural Congress
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/20/2002
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: A comprehensive database for the interactive identification of legume fruits and seeds to genus was developed and is now available via the Internet ( Retrieval of information on fruits, seeds, and distribution of legume genera can be customized according to the needs of individual users. The legume family (Fabaceae or Leguminosae) includes 687 genera distributed among three subfamilies: Caesalpinioideae, Mimosoideae, and Faboideae. Caesalpinioideae has 23% of the genera, Mimosoideae 11%, and Faboideae 66%. For each genus the following characters were recorded in a DELTA-formatted database: 9 classification characters, 157 for fruits, 127 for seeds, 7 for distribution, 1 for notes, and 3 for metadata. There were approximately 1,360 images attached to the genera and 205 to the characters, for verification of identifications and interpretation of character states. Some interesting results for legume fruits and seeds are: The shortest legume fruit is in the genus Trifolium and is 0.1 cm long, and the longest legume fruit is in the genus Entada and is 200 cm long. The smallest legume seed is in the genus Ononis and is 0.5 mm long, and the largest legume seed is in the genus Mora and is 180 mm long. Twelve genera have seeds lacking a testa of which seven have all species lacking a testa and five have a few species lacking a testa and the majority with a testa. The subfamily Faboideae has relatively smaller seeds, with an average length of 9.1 mm, than the seeds of subfamilies Caesalpinioideae and Mimosoideae, with average lengths of 14 and 18 mm, respectively.

Last Modified: 05/27/2017
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