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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Vance, Carroll

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/14/2005
Publication Date: 6/14/2005
Citation: Vance, C.P. 2005. Legume genomics and biotechnology: role in sustainable acquisition of nutrients. International Plant Canada 2005 Meetings, June 15-18, 2005, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Paper No. A1.1, p. 57.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Since 1960 N fertilizer use has risen some 13-fold, accompanied by a 6.5-fold increase in P fertilizer use. Expanded use of these inputs in the developed world has contributed to compromising air and water quality while in developing countries the lack of N and P fertilizer availability limits crop production and quality. Concurrently, Earth’s population has reached 6 billion people, and this trend is on target towards 10 billion by 2040. Today some 0.8-1 billion people are undernourished due to lack of protein or nutrient insufficiency. Legume production and use are critical to sustainable acquisition of nutrients and to providing dietary protein to a growing world population. Legumes are grown on 25% of the Earth’s arable land. They provide 33-60% of humankind’s dietary N, depending upon the country in question. Moreover, 35% of the world’s edible oil is derived from legumes. Because they can fix atmospheric N2, legumes can reduce fertilizer N inputs thereby aiding to reduce excessive N inputs in developed countries while supplying beneficial N to crops in developing countries. Legumes also have some unique adaptations to acquire P from low P soils. However, legumes are frequently grown under conditions that limit their growth and development. To keep up with the food requirements of a rapidly growing population, maintain adequate N2 fixation, and enhance nutritional quality, genomic and biotechnology research on legumes needs to be focused on improving traits related to these constraints. Using advances in Medicago, Lupinus, and Phaseolus as examples, this presentation will identify research thrusts that have potential to enhance either P or N acquisition and use. Findings with legume species may be applied to other plant families.

Last Modified: 06/26/2017
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