Submitted to: Genome
Publication Type: Review article
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/4/2007
Publication Date: 7/5/2007
Citation: Singh, R.J., Chung, G.H., Nelson, R.L. 2007. Landmark Research in Legumes. Genome. 50:525-537. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Legumes are members of family Fabaceae or Leguminosae and include economically important grain legumes, oilseed crops, forage crops, shrubs and tropical or subtropical trees. Many legumes are rich source of quality protein for humans and animals and enrich the soil by producing their own nitrogen in a symbiotic way with bacteria of the genus Rhizobium. International centers and national institutes collect, maintain, distribute, and produce high yielding legumes (grains-pulses, oilseeds, forages, shrubs, and trees). Legume breeders are confined within primary gene pool (GP-1) in their varietal improvement program and have not exploited secondary gene pool (GP-2), tertiary gene pool (GP-3) and quaternary gene pool (GP-4). Legumes are rich in proteins; in addition, they are an excellent source of timber, medicine, tannins, gums, insecticides, resins, varnish, paints, dyes, and biofriendly by-products, such as soy diesel. Three forage crops, Medicago truncatula, Lotus japonicus, and Trifolium pratense, are model legumes for phylogenetic studies and genome sequencing. This paper concludes that a ‘protein revolution’ is needed in order to meet the protein demands of the world.