Crop and Pasture Science Crop and Pasture Science Society
Plant sciences, sustainable farming systems and food quality
Crop and Pasture Science

Crop and Pasture Science

Volume 68 Numbers 10 & 11 2017

Legumes in Sustainable Agriculture

CPv68n11_FOLegumes in sustainable agriculture

Sergio G. Atienza and Diego Rubiales
pp. i-ii

Flowering time is the most important adaptation trait of plants and is largely controlled by temperature and photoperiod. Evaluation of Australian faba bean genotypes found significant variation in flowering time, and in the plant responses to ambient temperature and photoperiod. This variation could be utilised to breed lines for specific growing environments, increasing yield, yield reliability and possibly expand the production zone into more marginal areas.

CP17064Design, assessment and feasibility of legume-based cropping systems in three European regions

E. Pelzer, C. Bourlet, G. Carlsson, R. J. Lopez-Bellido, E. S. Jensen and M.-H. Jeuffroy
pp. 902-914

Due to environmental and future food challenges, legume crops should be promoted in European fields, after several decades of decreasing areas. As agronomic and environmental benefits of those crops are mainly measurable at the cropping system level, innovative cropping systems with grain legumes were designed by scientists and assessed with stakeholders. Feasible cropping systems were identified in three European local pedoclimatic contexts with improved performance compared with current cropping systems, and could thus be developed.

CP16423Assessment of field pea (Pisum sativum L.) grain yield, aerial biomass and flowering date stability in Mediterranean environments

R. Iglesias-García, E. Prats, F. Flores, M. Amri, A. Mikić and D. Rubiales
pp. 915-923

Mediterranean environments are of most interest in the current context of global climate change. In our work we have tested adaptation of nine pea cultivars in South European and North African locations, characterised by different agro climatic conditions within the Mediterranean climate. Our results highlighted the potential interest of genotypes HR1 and Desso in breeding programs and further studies of drought tolerance.

CP17071Genotype by environment interactions in cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp.) grown in the Iberian Peninsula

Marina Martos-Fuentes, Juan A. Fernández, Jesús Ochoa, Márcia Carvalho, Valdemar Carnide, Eduardo Rosa, Graça Pereira, Carina Barcelos, Penelope J. Bebeli and Catalina Egea-Gilabert
pp. 924-931

Cowpea is one of the most widely adapted, versatile, and nutritious grain legumes. The aim of this work was to determine the genetic variability and environmental stability of 12 cowpea genotypes at three locations in the Iberian Peninsula in two consecutive years. This study could give rise to a breeding program to develop cowpea cultivars with interesting agronomic traits.

CP17068Performance of legume-based annual forage crops in three semi-arid Mediterranean environments

P. Annicchiarico, I. Thami Alami, K. Abbas, L. Pecetti, R. A. M. Melis and C. Porqueddu
pp. 932-941

Legume-based annual forages, once optimized, could be pivotal to intensify sustainably drought-prone cereal-livestock systems. Production and farmers’ appreciation results collected for various legume and cereal species grown in monoculture and mixture in three sites of the western Mediterranean basin indicated that pea has much greater potential than hitherto believed. This encourages its breeding and cultivation for forage besides for grain.


On a set of 46 lucerne genotypes, a positive correlation between the performance of genotypes in monoculture and in mixture was obtained. However, significant changes in genotype ranking indicated that the species of its neighbours could modify the relative performance of a genotype. Traits measured on the same genotypes grown in isolated plants explained competition intensity depending on the neighbour species.


Cold-season dormancy and prostrate habit may challenge the selection of grazing-tolerant lucerne (Medicago sativa L.) for mild-winter environments. The genetic variation and genetically based trade-offs for key traits (grazing tolerance, dormancy, plant morphology) and their implications for selection were assessed in different genetic backgrounds. The selection for grazing-tolerant germplasm can rely on large genetic variation, but it requires extensive genotype evaluation to produce material with acceptable dormancy and growth habit.

CP17067In vitro-assisted single-seed descent for breeding-cycle compression in subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum L.)

Maria Pazos-Navarro, Marieclaire Castello, Richard G. Bennett, Phillip Nichols and Janine Croser
pp. 958-966

Subterranean clover is grown on over 29 Mha in southern Australia but its annual rate of genetic improvement is constrained by a long lifecycle. We present an in vitro-assisted single-seed descent system (IVASSD) to enable the turnover of up to 6.1 generations per year. To demonstrate the applicability of the system within a plant-breeding program, we have validated the IVASSD technique on a segregating breeding population, resulting in the turnover of three generations in less than one year.

CP17002Changes in yield and agronomic traits of soybean cultivars released in China in the last 60 years

Xiaoliang Qin, Fan Feng, Dexiao Li, Stephen J. Herbert, Yuncheng Liao and Kadambot H. M. Siddique
pp. 973-984

Planting density decreased significantly in the Yellow-Huai-Hai summer and South soybean regions but did not significantly change in the North spring soybean region. The increased soybean yields were mainly due to increased 100-seed weight and seed number per plant. Seed protein content has not significantly changed in 60 years, but oil content has increased in all three regions.

CP17012Heat stress in grain legumes during reproductive and grain-filling phases

Muhammad Farooq, Faisal Nadeem, Nirmali Gogoi, Aman Ullah, Salem S. Alghamdi, Harsh Nayyar and Kadambot H. M. Siddique
pp. 985-1005

Heat stress, during reproductive phase, is a major threat to productivity of grain legumes. This review describes the impact of heat stress on photo-assimilation, grain quality and development processes, and proposes innovative strategies to improve heat tolerance in grain legumes.


Powdery mildew is a devastating disease of many legume species, including common bean. In this work, we assessed the responses of 108 dry and snap bean accessions to PM, and characterized the genetic control of the resistance in three bean genotypes. This work provides new PM-resistance sources and markers linked to resistance genes, which will be very useful in common bean breeding programs focused on protecting bean crops against this disease.

CP17099Identification and multi-environment validation of resistance to rust (Uromyces viciae-fabae) in Vicia faba

Josefina C. Sillero, María M. Rojas-Molina, Amero A. Emeran, Mohamed Kharrat, Johanna Winkler, Habib R. Khan, Fernando Flores and Diego Rubiales
pp. 1013-1023

Resistance to faba bean rust (Uromyces viciae-fabae) was identified by screening a large germplasm collection of Vicia faba under field conditions. Stability of resistance of the most-resistant accessions was further evaluated in a multi-location experiment and validated in three mega-environments defined in this work. These stable sources of resistance are highly promising to be included in international faba bean breeding programmes.

CP17258Biplot evaluation of test environments and identification of lentil genotypes with durable resistance to fusarium wilt in India

A. K. Parihar, Ashwani K. Basandrai, D. R. Saxena, K. P. S. Kushwaha, S. Chandra, K. Sharma, K. D. Singha, Deepak Singh, H. C. Lal and Sanjeev Gupta
pp. 1024-1030

Model diagnosis revealed that no scaling ‘GGE biplot’ analysis has been the best for interpretation of multi-year and multi-location lentil data set. GGE biplot analysis demonstrated that lentil genotypes PL 101 and L 4076 are the potential sources of resistance against wilt disease. Based on the representativeness and discriminating ability ‘Sehore’ location is the ideal test location for screening against fusarium wilt in lentil in India.

CP17129Characterisation of nutritional quality traits of a chickpea (Cicer arietinum) germplasm collection exploited in chickpea breeding in Europe

Carmo Serrano, Bruna Carbas, Ana Castanho, Andreia Soares, Maria Carlota Vaz Patto and Carla Brites
pp. 1031-1040

A representative collection of the chickpea germplasm used by the European breeders were evaluated. The accessions were characterized according, different seed traits and basic composition carotenoids and tocopherols. Greater concentration of carotenoids was related with specific seed traits and that can be explored in chickpea breeding programs for improvement of their nutritional quality.

CP17307Unravelling the nutriproteomics of chickpea (Cicer arietinum) seeds

Tiago Santos, Catarina Marinho, Michael Freitas, Hugo M. Santos, David Oppolzer, Ana Barros, Valdemar Carnide and Gilberto Igrejas
pp. 1041-1051

Chickpea, commonly known as garbanzo beans, is of great importance for human nutrition, specifically due to its high protein content. In this report, 24 chickpea varieties were compared by biochemically characterizing the storage proteins. Two of these varieties, one light-colored Kabuli and one dark-colored desi, were compered by a more advanced proteomic approach. The data obtained reaffirmed the quality of this grain protein for human nutrition, and will be important in future plant-breeding studies.

CP17087Improved grain yield of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) under water deficit after inoculation with Bradyrhizobium elkanii and Rhizophagus irregularis

Rui S. Oliveira, Patrícia Carvalho, Guilhermina Marques, Luís Ferreira, Sandra Pereira, Mafalda Nunes, Inês Rocha, Ying Ma, Maria F. Carvalho, Miroslav Vosátka and Helena Freitas
pp. 1052-1059

Cowpea is broadly cultivated in drought-prone areas and there is a need to address the water scarcity issue in agriculture. We assessed the effects of inoculation with a nitrogen-fixing bacterium and an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus on plant performance and yield under water-deficit. Under moderate and severe water deficit, grain yield was increased in inoculated plants. The use of inoculated cowpea has great potential for sustainable agricultural production under drought conditions.

CP17070Winter cover crops as green manure in a temperate region: the effect on nitrogen budget and yield of silage maize

B. Ćupina, S. Vujić, Dj. Krstić, Z. Radanović, R. Čabilovski, M. Manojlović and D. Latković
pp. 1060-1069

The study evaluated the effect of cover crops-legume, cereal, their mixture used as green manure, two doses of N fertilisation, and an unfertilised fallow as a control on the soil nitrogen budget and yield of silage maize (Zea mays L.). The highest value of apparent N remaining in the soil was in the mixture while the N fertilisation treatments and the control had significantly lower average values of residual N.


Lucerne cover crop for winter wheat was studied as an alternative and sustainable weed-control strategy. Conventional and reduced tillage conditions, as well as presence or absence of cover crop were compared in terms of soil coverage and biomass of wheat, lucerne and weeds. Weed communities composition and functional group analysis were performed. To minimise cash-crop losses, the effect of several herbicide strategies controlling the cover crop under reduced tillage conditions were also tested.

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