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A selection of legumes Various legumes.jpg
A selection of legumes

A legume ( /ˈlɛɡjm, ləˈɡjm/ ) is a plant in the family Fabaceae (or Leguminosae), or the fruit or seed of such a plant (also called a pulse). Legumes are grown agriculturally, primarily for human consumption, for livestock forage and silage, and as soil-enhancing green manure. Well-known legumes include alfalfa, clover, beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils, lupins, mesquite, carob, soybeans, peanuts, and tamarind. Legumes produce a botanically unique type of fruit – a simple dry fruit that develops from a simple carpel and usually dehisces (opens along a seam) on two sides. A common name for this type of fruit is a pod, although the term "pod" is also applied to a number of other fruit types, such as that of vanilla (a capsule) and of the radish (a silique).

Plant multicellular eukaryote of the kingdom Plantae

Plants are mainly multicellular, predominantly photosynthetic eukaryotes of the kingdom Plantae. Historically, plants were treated as one of two kingdoms including all living things that were not animals, and all algae and fungi were treated as plants. However, all current definitions of Plantae exclude the fungi and some algae, as well as the prokaryotes. By one definition, plants form the clade Viridiplantae, a group that includes the flowering plants, conifers and other gymnosperms, ferns and their allies, hornworts, liverworts, mosses and the green algae, but excludes the red and brown algae.

Fabaceae family of plants

The Fabaceae or Leguminosae, commonly known as the legume, pea, or bean family, are a large and economically important family of flowering plants. It includes trees, shrubs, and perennial or annual herbaceous plants, which are easily recognized by their fruit (legume) and their compound, stipulate leaves. Many legumes have characteristic flowers and fruits. The family is widely distributed, and is the third-largest land plant family in terms of number of species, behind only the Orchidaceae and Asteraceae, with about 751 genera and about 19,000 known species. The five largest of the genera are Astragalus, Acacia, Indigofera, Crotalaria, and Mimosa, which constitute about a quarter of all legume species. The ca. 19,000 known legume species amount to about 7% of flowering plant species. Fabaceae is the most common family found in tropical rainforests and in dry forests in the Americas and Africa.

Fruit part of a flowering plant

In botany, a fruit is the seed-bearing structure in flowering plants formed from the ovary after flowering.


Legumes are notable in that most of them have symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria in structures called root nodules. For that reason, they play a key role in crop rotation.

Nitrogen fixation is a process by which nitrogen in the air is converted into ammonia (NH3) or related nitrogenous compounds. Atmospheric nitrogen is molecular dinitrogen, a relatively nonreactive molecule that is metabolically useless to all but a few microorganisms. Biological nitrogen fixation converts N2 into ammonia, which is metabolized by most organisms.

Root nodule root nodule

Root nodules are found on the roots of plants, primarily legumes, that form a symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Under nitrogen-limiting conditions, capable plants form a symbiotic relationship with a host-specific strain of bacteria known as rhizobia. This process has evolved multiple times within the legumes, as well as in other species found within the Rosid clade. Legume crops include beans, peas, and soybeans.

Crop rotation practice of growing a series of dissimilar or different types of crops in the same area in sequenced seasons

Crop rotation is the practice of growing a series of dissimilar or different types of crops in the same area in sequenced seasons. It is done so that the soil of farms is not used for only one set of nutrients. It helps in reducing soil erosion and increases soil fertility and crop yield.


The term pulse, as used by the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), is reserved for legume crops harvested solely for the dry seed. [1] This excludes green beans and green peas, which are considered vegetable crops. Also excluded are seeds that are mainly grown for oil extraction (oilseeds like soybeans and peanuts), and seeds which are used exclusively for sowing forage (clovers, alfalfa). However, in common usage, these distinctions are not always clearly made, and many of the varieties used for dried pulses are also used for green vegetables, with their beans in pods while young.

United Nations Intergovernmental organization

The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization tasked with maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations, achieving international co-operation, and being a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations. It was established after World War II, with the aim of preventing future wars, and succeeded the ineffective League of Nations. Its headquarters, which are subject to extraterritoriality, are in Manhattan, New York City, and it has other main offices in Geneva, Nairobi, Vienna and The Hague. The organization is financed by assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states. Its objectives include maintaining international peace and security, protecting human rights, delivering humanitarian aid, promoting sustainable development, and upholding international law. The UN is the largest, most familiar, most internationally represented and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world. At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; there are now 193.

Food and Agriculture Organization Specialised agency of the United Nations

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Serving both developed and developing countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate arguments and debate policy.

Green bean vegetable

Green beans are the unripe, young fruit and protective pods of various cultivars of the common bean. Immature or young pods of the runner bean, yardlong bean, and hyacinth bean are used in a similar way. Green beans are known by many common names, including French beans, string beans, snap beans, snaps, and the French name haricot vert.

Some Fabaceae, such as Scotch broom and other Genisteae, are leguminous but are usually not called legumes by farmers, who tend to restrict that term to food crops.

<i>Cytisus scoparius</i> species of plant

Cytisus scoparius, the common broom or Scotch broom, syn. Sarothamnus scoparius, is a perennial leguminous shrub native to western and central Europe. In Britain and Ireland, the standard name is broom, but this name is also used for other members of the Genisteae tribe, such as French broom or Spanish broom, and the term common broom is sometimes used for clarification. In other English-speaking countries, the most prevalent common name is Scotch broom ; It is known as English broom in Australia.

Genisteae tribe of plants, the brooms

Genisteae is a tribe of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants in the subfamily Faboideae of the legume family Fabaceae. It includes a number of well-known plants including broom, lupine (lupin), gorse and laburnum.


Farmed legumes can belong to many agricultural classes, including forage, grain, blooms, pharmaceutical/industrial, fallow/green manure, and timber species. Most commercially farmed species fill two or more roles simultaneously, depending upon their degree of maturity when harvested.

Forage is a plant material eaten by grazing livestock. Historically, the term forage has meant only plants eaten by the animals directly as pasture, crop residue, or immature cereal crops, but it is also used more loosely to include similar plants cut for fodder and carried to the animals, especially as hay or silage. The term forage fish refers to small schooling fish that are preyed on by larger aquatic animals.

Cereal Grass of which the fruits are used as grain, or said fruits

A cereal is any grass cultivated for the edible components of its grain, composed of the endosperm, germ, and bran. The term may also refer to the resulting grain itself. Cereal grain crops are grown in greater quantities and provide more food energy worldwide than any other type of crop and are therefore staple crops. Edible grains from other plant families, such as buckwheat (Polygonaceae), quinoa (Amaranthaceae) and chia (Lamiaceae), are referred to as pseudocereals.

Human consumption

Freshly dug peanuts (Arachis hypogaea), indehiscent legume fruits Peanut 9417.jpg
Freshly dug peanuts (Arachis hypogaea), indehiscent legume fruits

Grain legumes [2] are cultivated for their seeds, which are used for human and animal consumption or for the production of oils for industrial uses. Grain legumes include beans, lentils, lupins, peas, and peanuts. [3]

Bean Owns Notts County FC.

A bean is a seed of one of several genera of the flowering plant family Fabaceae, which are used for human or animal food.

Lentil Species of plant

The lentil is an edible legume. It is a bushy annual plant known for its lens-shaped seeds. It is about 40 cm (16 in) tall, and the seeds grow in pods, usually with two seeds in each.

Pea species of plant

The pea is most commonly the small spherical seed or the seed-pod of the pod fruit Pisum sativum. Each pod contains several peas, which can be green or yellow. Pea pods are botanically fruit, since they contain seeds and develop from the ovary of a (pea) flower. The name is also used to describe other edible seeds from the Fabaceae such as the pigeon pea, the cowpea, and the seeds from several species of Lathyrus.

Nutritional value

Legumes are a significant source of protein, dietary fiber, carbohydrates and dietary minerals; for example, a 100 gram serving of cooked chickpeas contains 18 percent of the Daily Value (DV) for protein, 30 percent DV for dietary fiber, 43 percent DV for folate and 52 percent DV for manganese. [4] Like other plant-based foods, pulses contain no cholesterol and little fat or sodium. [4]

Legumes are also an excellent source of resistant starch which is broken down by bacteria in the large intestine to produce short-chain fatty acids (such as butyrate) used by intestinal cells for food energy. [5]

Preliminary studies in humans include the potential for regular consumption of legumes in a plant-based diet to reduce the prevalence or risk of developing metabolic syndrome. [6] There is evidence that a portion of pulses (roughly one cup daily) in a diet may help lower blood pressure and reduce LDL cholesterol levels, though there is a concern about the quality of the supporting data. [7] [8]

Classification of pulses

Depending on the variety, Phaseolus vulgaris (a pulse) may be called "common bean", "kidney bean", "haricot bean", "pinto bean", "navy bean", among other names. Phaseolus vulgaris seed.jpg
Depending on the variety, Phaseolus vulgaris (a pulse) may be called "common bean", "kidney bean", "haricot bean", "pinto bean", "navy bean", among other names.

FAO recognizes 11 primary pulses. The FAO notes that the term "pulses" is limited to legumes harvested solely for dry grain, thereby excluding legumes that are harvested green for food (green peas, green beans, etc.) which are classified as vegetable crops. Also excluded are those legumes used mainly for oil extraction (e.g., soybeans and groundnuts) or used exclusively for sowing purposes (e.g., seeds of clover and alfalfa). [9]

  1. Dry beans (FAOSTAT code 0176, Phaseolus spp. including several species now in Vigna)
  2. Dry broad beans (code 0181, Vicia faba)
    • Horse bean (Vicia faba equina)
    • Broad bean (Vicia faba)
    • Field bean (Vicia faba)
  3. Dry peas (code 0187, Pisum spp.)
    • Garden pea (Pisum sativum var. sativum)
    • Protein pea (Pisum sativum var. arvense)
  4. Chickpea, garbanzo, Bengal gram (code 0191, Cicer arietinum)
  5. Dry cowpea, black-eyed pea, blackeye bean (code 0195, Vigna unguiculata )
  6. Pigeon pea, Arhar/Toor, cajan pea, Congo bean, gandules (code 0197Cajanus cajan)
  7. Lentil (code 0201, Lens culinaris)
  8. Bambara groundnut, earth pea (code 0203, Vigna subterranea)
  9. Vetch, common vetch (code 0205, Vicia sativa)
  10. Lupins (code 0210, Lupinus spp.)
  11. Pulses NES (code 0211), Minor pulses, including:


White clover, a forage crop TrifoliumRepensFlowers.jpg
White clover, a forage crop

Forage legumes are of two broad types. Some, like alfalfa, clover, vetch ( Vicia ), stylo ( Stylosanthes ), or Arachis , are sown in pasture and grazed by livestock. Other forage legumes such as Leucaena or Albizia are woody shrub or tree species that are either broken down by livestock or regularly cut by humans to provide livestock feed. Legumes base feed fed to animals improves animal performance compared to diets of perennial grass diet. Factors that attribute towards such result: larger consumption, quicker rate of digestion and feed conversion rate efficiency. [10]

Other uses

Lupin flower garden Flower garden in Ushuaia (5542996965).jpg
Lupin flower garden

Legume species grown for their flowers include lupins, which are farmed commercially for their blooms as well as being popular in gardens worldwide. Industrially farmed legumes include Indigofera and Acacia species, which are cultivated for dye and natural gum production, respectively. Fallow/green manure legume species are cultivated to be tilled back into the soil in order to exploit the high levels of captured atmospheric nitrogen found in the roots of most legumes. Numerous legumes farmed for this purpose include Leucaena, Cyamopsis , and Sesbania species. Various legume species are farmed for timber production worldwide, including numerous Acacia species and Castanospermum australe .

Legume trees like the locust trees ( Gleditsia , Robinia ) or the Kentucky coffeetree (Gymnocladus dioicus) can be used in permaculture food forests. Other legume trees like laburnum and the woody climbing vine wisteria are poisonous.

Nitrogen fixation

Root nodules on a Wisteria plant (a hazelnut pictured for comparison) Soil fertility - nitrogen fixation by root nodules on Wistaria roots, with hazelnut to show size.JPG
Root nodules on a Wisteria plant (a hazelnut pictured for comparison)

Many legumes contain symbiotic bacteria called Rhizobia within root nodules of their root systems. (Plants belonging to the genus Styphnolobium are one exception to this rule.) These bacteria have the special ability of fixing nitrogen from atmospheric, molecular nitrogen (N2) into ammonia (NH3). [11] The chemical reaction is:

N2 + 8H+ + 8e → 2NH3 + H2

Ammonia is then converted to another form, ammonium (NH+
), usable by (some) plants by the following reaction:

NH3 + H+ → NH+

This arrangement means that the root nodules are sources of nitrogen for legumes, making them relatively rich in plant proteins. All proteins contain nitrogenous amino acids. Nitrogen is therefore a necessary ingredient in the production of proteins. Hence, legumes are among the best sources of plant protein.

When a legume plant dies in the field, for example following the harvest, all of its remaining nitrogen, incorporated into amino acids inside the remaining plant parts, is released back into the soil. In the soil, the amino acids are converted to nitrate (NO
), making the nitrogen available to other plants, thereby serving as fertilizer for future crops. [12] [13]

Nitrogen cycle and its stages Nitrogen Cycle.jpg
Nitrogen cycle and its stages

In many traditional and organic farming practices, crop rotation involving legumes is common. By alternating between legumes and non-legumes, sometimes planting non-legumes two times in a row and then a legume, the field usually receives a sufficient amount of nitrogenous compounds to produce a good result, even when the crop is non-leguminous. Legumes are sometimes referred to as "green manure".

Sri Lanka developed the farming practice known as coconut-soybean intercropping. Grain legumes are grown in coconut (Cocos nuficera) groves in two ways: intercropping or as a cash crop. These are grown mainly for their protein, vegetable oil and ability to uphold soil fertility. [14] However, continuous cropping after 3–4 years decrease grain yields significantly. [15]

Farming system

The type of crop(s) grown or animal rearing will be dependent on the farming system, either vegetables, tubers, grains, cattle etc. In cattle rearing, legume trees such as Gliricidia sepium can be planted along edges of field to provide shade for cattle, the leaves and bark are often eaten by cattle. Green manure can also be grown between periods when crops of economic importance are harvested prior to the next crops to be planted. [16]


Archaeologists have discovered traces of pulse production around Ravi River (Punjab), the seat of the Indus Valley Civilisation, dating to c. 3300 BCE. Meanwhile, evidence of lentil cultivation has also been found in Egyptian pyramids and cuneiform recipes. [17] Dry pea seeds have been discovered in a Swiss village that are believed to date back to the Stone Age. Archaeological evidence suggests that these peas must have been grown in the eastern Mediterranean and Mesopotamian regions at least 5,000 years ago and in Britain as early as the 11th century. [18] But one particular bean has become the leading legume planted worldwide, the soybean. It was first domesticated around 11000 BC in China, a descendant of the wilde vine Glycine soja. Domesticated soybean was introduced to the USA (Philadelphia) by Benjamin Franklin from France in 1804. Henry Ford, a vegetarian, was the first person to use soybeans for large-scale industrial purposes. Concentrating on his company, from 1932 to 1933 he invested over 1 million dollars in research on soybeans. Prior to WWII, 40% of cooking oil was imported into the US. When the war came, supply routes were disrupted, which encouraged the soybean culture in the US. Due to the years of research done by Henry Ford, the domestic soybean oil industry was born. [19] Between 1970 and 1976, soybean production increased approximately 30%. Oil yield from bulk soybeans averages about 18%. Its modern day usage ranges from margarine,salad oils, shortening and the previously mentioned cooking oil. [20]

Distribution and production

Pulse production, 2017 [21]
CountryProduction (thousands of tonnes)
Flag of India.svg  India
Flag of Poland.svg  Poland
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom
Flag of Mozambique.svg  Mozambique
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China
Flag of Vietnam.svg  Vietnam
Source: UN Food & Agriculture Organization [22]

Legumes are widely distributed as the third-largest land plant family in terms of number of species, behind only the Orchidaceae and Asteraceae, with about 751 genera and some 19,000 known species, [23] [24] constituting about seven percent of flowering plant species. [25] [26]

In 2017, India was the largest producer of pulses with 23% of the world total (table). Other major producers were Poland, the United Kingdom, and Mozambique.

Storage of grain legumes

Seed viability decreases with longer storage time. Studies done on Vetch, Horse beans, and peas show that they last about 5 years in storage. Environmental factors that are important in influencing germination are relative humidity and temperature. Two rules apply to moisture content between 5 and 14 percent: the life of the seed will last longer if the storage temperature is reduced by 5 degree celsius. Secondly, the storage moisture content will decrease if temperature is reduced by 1 degree celsius. [27]

Pests of legumes

A common pest of grain legumes that is noticed in the tropical and subtropical Asia, Africa, Australia and Oceania are miniscule flies that belong to the family Agromyzidae, dubbed "bean flies". They are considered to be the most destructive. The host range of these flies is very wide amongst cultivated legumes. Infestation of plants starts from germination through to harvest, and they can destroy an entire crop in early stage. [28] Black bean aphids are a serious pest to broad beans and other beans. Common host for this pest are fathen, thistle and dock. Pea and Bean Weevil: damages by these two culprits are characterised by leaf margins having semi-circular notches. Stem Nematode: there are many different Nematodes; they are very widespread but will be found more frequently in areas where host plants are grown. [29]

Common diseases of legumes

Anthracnose, caused by Colletotrichum trifolii, Common leaf spot caused by Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae, Crown wart caused by Physoderma alfalfae, Downy mildew caused by Peronospora trifoliorum, Fusarium root rot caused by Fusarium spp, Rust caused by Uromyces striatus, Sclerotina Crown and stem rot caused by Sclerotinia trifoliorum, Southern blight caused by Sclertium rolfsii , Pythium root rot (browning root rot) caused by Pythium spp, Fusarium wilt caused by Fusarium oxysporum, Root knot, agent Meloidogyne hapla. These are all classified as Biotic problems. [30]

Abiotic Problems: Nutrient deficiency(ies) (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, copper, magnesium, manganese, boron, zinc), pollutants (air, water, soil, pesticide injury, fertilizer burn), toxic concentration of minerals, and unfavorable growth conditions. [31]

Principles applied to control diseases in plants

There are three main factors that contribute to the success of any plant disease: it must have a host (susceptible plants), the right environment, and a pathogen. With any one of the three factors being eliminated there will be no disease.To help achieve this, different approaches can be taken to mitigate its severity before it's too late. Control, diseases in plants should be kept below severity line at which it may be of economical importance, one can reduce the inoculum or slow the rate of its increase in plants. There are some principles that are etiological to control plant diseases: exclusion,eradication,therapy and resistant variety. [32]

Pollination of legumes

Legumes can either be self-pollinated or cross-pollinated. Pollination serves the purpose for the continuation of the species and its genetic materials to its offspring. Self-pollination limits the capability for genetic variation, whereas for cross-pollination the opposite is true.

Some tropical legumes that are closely self-pollinated are: Macroptilium atropurpureum 'Siratro', Macroptilum lathyroides, Centrosema pubescens, Neonotonia wightii, and Lotononis bainesii. However, the autogamous annual Stylosanthes humilis proved otherwise by adapting in response to changing conditions during an experiment, and was found to be composed of several genotypes showing heterogeneity.

Two legumes used for pasture with cross-pollination are: Desmodium intortum and Desmodium uncinatum. When the flower is opened, this is the only time fertilization will take place. These two species' characteristics vary in morphology and ruggedness. [33]

International Year of Pulses

The International Year of Pulses 2016 (IYP 2016) was declared by the Sixty-eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly. [34] The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations was nominated to facilitate the implementation of IYP 2016 in collaboration with governments, relevant organizations, non-governmental organizations and other relevant stakeholders. Its aim was to heighten public awareness of the nutritional benefits of pulses as part of sustainable food production aimed towards food security and nutrition. IYP 2016 created an opportunity to encourage connections throughout the food chain that would better use pulse-based proteins, further global production of pulses, better use crop rotations and address challenges in the global trade of pulses. [34] [35]

See also

Related Research Articles

<i>Vicia sativa</i> species of plant

Vicia sativa, known as the common vetch, garden vetch, tare or simply vetch, is a nitrogen-fixing leguminous plant in the family Fabaceae. Although considered a weed when found growing in a cultivated grainfield, this hardy plant is often grown as green manure or livestock fodder.

In agriculture, green manure is created by leaving uprooted or sown crop parts to wither on a field so that they serve as a mulch and soil amendment. The plants used for green manure are often cover crops grown primarily for this purpose. Typically, they are ploughed under and incorporated into the soil while green or shortly after flowering. Green manure is commonly associated with organic farming and can play an important role in sustainable annual cropping systems.

Black-eyed pea subspecies of cowpea plant

The black-eyed pea, black-eyed bean or goat pea, a legume, is a subspecies of the cowpea, grown around the world for its medium-sized, edible bean.

Cowpea species of plant

The cowpea is an annual herbaceous legume from the genus Vigna. Due to its tolerance for sandy soil and low rainfall it is an important crop in the semi-arid regions across Africa and other countries. It requires very few inputs, as the plant's root nodules are able to fix atmospheric nitrogen, making it a valuable crop for resource-poor farmers and well-suited to intercropping with other crops. The whole plant is used as forage for animals, with its use as cattle feed likely responsible for its name.

<i>Phaseolus vulgaris</i> species of plant

Phaseolus vulgaris, also known as the common bean, green bean and French bean, among other names, is a herbaceous annual plant grown worldwide for its edible dry seeds or unripe fruit. The main categories of common beans, on the basis of use, are dry beans, snap beans and shell (shelled) beans. Its leaf is also occasionally used as a vegetable and the straw as fodder. Its botanical classification, along with other Phaseolus species, is as a member of the legume family Fabaceae, most of whose members acquire the nitrogen they require through an association with rhizobia, a species of nitrogen-fixing bacteria.

<i>Vigna subterranea</i> species of plant

Vigna subterranea is a member of the family Fabaceae. The plant originated in West Africa. Vigna subterranea ripens its pods underground, much like the peanut. They can be eaten fresh or boiled after drying.

<i>Vicia</i> genus of plants

Vicia is a genus of about 140 species of flowering plants that are part of the legume family (Fabaceae), and which are commonly known as vetches. Member species are native to Europe, North America, South America, Asia and Africa. Some other genera of their subfamily Faboideae also have names containing "vetch", for example the vetchlings (Lathyrus) or the milk-vetches (Astragalus). The broad bean is sometimes separated in a monotypic genus Faba; although not often used today, it is of historical importance in plant taxonomy as the namesake of the order Fabales, the Fabaceae and the Faboideae. The tribe Vicieae in which the vetches are placed is named after the genus' current name. Among the closest living relatives of vetches are the lentils (Lens) and the true peas (Pisum).

Winged bean species of plant, Winged bean

The winged bean, also known as the Goa bean, four-angled bean, four-cornered bean, Manila bean, and dragon bean, is a tropical legume plant native to New Guinea.

<i>Vigna umbellata</i> species of plant

Vigna umbellata (Thunb.) Ohwi and Ohashi, previously Phaseolus calcaratus, is a warm-season annual vine legume with yellow flowers and small edible beans. It is commonly called ricebean or rice bean. To date, it is little known, little researched and little exploited. It is regarded as a minor food and fodder crop and is often grown as intercrop or mixed crop with maize, sorghum or cowpea, as well as a sole crop in the uplands, on a very limited area. Like the other Asiatic Vigna species, ricebean is a fairly short-lived warm-season annual. Grown mainly as a dried pulse, it is also important as a fodder, a green manure and a vegetable. Ricebean is most widely grown as an intercrop, particularly of maize, throughout Indo-China and extending into southern China, India, Nepal and Bangladesh. In the past it was widely grown as lowland crop on residual soil water after the harvest of long-season rice, but it has been displaced to a great extent where shorter duration rice varieties are grown. Ricebean grows well on a range of soils. It establishes rapidly and has the potential to produce large amounts of nutritious animal fodder and high quality grain.

Bean yellow mosaic virus species of virus

Bean yellow mosaic virus is a plant pathogenic virus in the genus Potyvirus and the virus family Potyviridae. Like other members of the Potyvirus genus, it is a monopartite strand of positive-sense, single-stranded RNA surrounded by a capsid made for a single viral encoded protein. The virus is a filamentous particle that measures about 750 nm in length. This virus is transmitted by species of aphids and by mechanical inoculation.

Grain small, hard, dry seed used as food; may be ground into flour

A grain is a small, hard, dry seed, with or without an attached hull or fruit layer, harvested for human or animal consumption. A grain crop is a grain-producing plant. The two main types of commercial grain crops are cereals and legumes.

The Legume Information System (LIS), is legume sciences portal specifically for legume breeders and researchers, established and supported by the Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture. The mission of the Legume Information System is "to facilitate discoveries and crop improvement in the legumes," in particular to improve crop yields, their nutritional value, and our understanding of basic legume science.

<i>Callosobruchus</i> genus of insects

Callosobruchus is a genus of beetles in the family Chrysomelidae, the leaf beetles. It is in the subfamily Bruchinae, the bean weevils. Many beetles in the genus are well known as economically important pests that infest stored foodstuffs.

Adzuki bean species of plant, azuki bean

The adzuki bean, or English red mung bean, is an annual vine widely cultivated throughout East Asia for its small bean. The cultivars most familiar in Northeast Asia have a uniform red color, but white, black, gray, and variously mottled varieties also are known.

Pigeon pea species of plant, Pigeon pea

The pigeon pea is a perennial legume from the family Fabaceae. Since its domestication in the Indian subcontinent at least 3,500 years ago, its seeds have become a common food in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. It is consumed on a large scale mainly in South Asia and is a major source of protein for the population of the Indian subcontinent.

International Year of Pulses

2016 was declared as the International Year of Pulses by the sixty eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly on December 20, 2013. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has been nominated to declare a year for pulses.

An International Year designation provides an unprecedented opportunity to raise awareness and to celebrate the role of beans, chickpeas, lentils and other pulses in feeding the world. Even more importantly, it will be a galvanizing moment to draw together key actors to further the contributions pulses make to health, nutrition, and sustainability.


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Further reading