Advances in Legume Crops Research

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Genetics, Genomics and Biotechnology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2024 | Viewed by 13141

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Guest Editor
International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Terbol 1108-2010, Lebanon
Interests: legume; breeding; screening for biotic and abiotic stresses; genetic studies; disease resistance; herbicide resistance; genetic gain assessment; genomic assisted breeding; speed breeding; efficient breeding tools and techniques; genotype X environment interaction
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Guest Editor
Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, CSIC, Avenida Menendez Pidal s/n, 14004 Cordoba, Spain
Interests: identification, characterization and use of genetic resistance in legume breeding
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Legumes are important crops in diversifying farming systems, being able to fix nitrogen and improving soil structure. The ability of fixing nitrogen contributes to reducing the use of chemical fertilizers, which are expensive and unfriendly for the environment. They also reduce the carbon footprint They contribute to food and nutritional security through diversified food systems. However, legume crops remain marginalized in many countries due to policy issues which favor cereals over legumes. Legumes are also affected by diverse biotic (diseases, parasitic weeds, and insects) and abiotic stresses (heat, frost, drought, salinity, soil acidity, nutrient deficiency). Conventional breeding approaches have resulted in significant genetic improvement in legume crops, and improved cultivars have been developed for cultivation in different agro-ecologies. However, low genetic gains have been reported in legume crops grown in developing countries, which indicate production gaps and low self-sufficiency. Significant research has been carried out on introgression desirables genes from crop-wide relatives, and development efforts have been made in the past decade on important legumes at advanced research institutes and in the CGIAR centers, which have led to valuable genomic resources and genomic tools such as draft genome sequence, resequencing data, large-scale genome wide markers, dense genetic maps, quantitative trait loci (QTLs), and diagnostic markers. These tools are essential to the modernization of breeding programs and accelerate the breeding cycle, which can increase genetic gains when integrated with a speed breeding approach.

Dr. Fouad S. Maalouf
Dr. Diego Rubiales
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • genomics in legumes
  • genetics
  • molecular breeding and marker-assisted selection/breeding
  • biotic and abiotic stresses
  • genetic resources
  • wild relatives
  • genomic selection
  • modern breeding methods
  • G x E interaction
  • rapid advancement generation
  • genetic gains

Published Papers (13 papers)

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17 pages, 1096 KiB  
Article
Transcriptome Analysis of Stigmas of Vicia faba L. Flowers
by Inés Casimiro-Soriguer, David Aguilar-Benitez, Natalia Gutierrez and Ana M. Torres
Plants 2024, 13(11), 1443; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13111443 (registering DOI) - 23 May 2024
Abstract
Pollination in angiosperms depends on complex communication between pollen grains and stigmas, classified as wet or dry, depending on the presence or absence of secretions at the stigma surface, respectively. In species with wet stigma, the cuticle is disrupted and the presence of [...] Read more.
Pollination in angiosperms depends on complex communication between pollen grains and stigmas, classified as wet or dry, depending on the presence or absence of secretions at the stigma surface, respectively. In species with wet stigma, the cuticle is disrupted and the presence of exudates is indicative of their receptivity. Most stigma studies are focused on a few species and families, many of them with self-incompatibility systems. However, there is scarce knowledge about the stigma composition in Fabaceae, the third angiosperm family, whose stigmas have been classified as semidry. Here we report the first transcriptome profiling and DEGs of Vicia faba L. styles and stigmas from autofertile (flowers able to self-fertilize in the absence of manipulation, whose exudate is released spontaneously) and autosterile (flowers that need to be manipulated to break the cuticle and release the exudates to be receptive) inbred lines. From the 76,269 contigs obtained from the de novo assembly, only 45.1% of the sequences were annotated with at least one GO term. A total of 115,920, 75,489, and 70,801 annotations were assigned to Biological Process (BP), Cellular Component (CC), and Molecular Function (MF) categories, respectively, and 5918 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified between the autofertile and the autosterile lines. Among the most enriched metabolic pathways in the DEGs subset were those related with amino acid biosynthesis, terpenoid metabolism, or signal transduction. Some DEGs have been related with previous QTLs identified for autofertility traits, and their putative functions are discussed. The results derived from this work provide an important transcriptomic reference for style-stigma processes to aid our understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in faba bean fertilization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Legume Crops Research)
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22 pages, 1342 KiB  
Article
Selection for Phytophthora Root Rot Resistance in Chickpea Crosses Affects Yield Potential of Chickpea × Cicer echinospermum Backcross Derivatives
by Sean L. Bithell, Muhammd A. Asif, David Backhouse, Andre Drenth, Steve Harden and Kristy Hobson
Plants 2024, 13(11), 1432; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13111432 - 22 May 2024
Viewed by 137
Abstract
Phytophthora root rot (PRR) of chickpea (Cicer arietinum) caused by Phytophthora medicaginis is an important disease. Partial resistance to PRR is sourced from Cicer echinospermum. In this study, we evaluated if lines with low levels of PRR foliage symptoms in [...] Read more.
Phytophthora root rot (PRR) of chickpea (Cicer arietinum) caused by Phytophthora medicaginis is an important disease. Partial resistance to PRR is sourced from Cicer echinospermum. In this study, we evaluated if lines with low levels of PRR foliage symptoms in two contrasting recombinant inbred line (RIL) populations parented by chickpea cultivars (Yorker and Rupali) and 04067-81-2-1-1 (C. echinospermum, interspecific breeding line) had a significant drag on yield parameters. For the Yorker × 04067-81-2-1-1 population with the highest level of PRR resistance, in the absence of PRR, low foliage symptom RIL had significantly later flowering and podding, lower grain yields, and lighter seed and shorter plant phenotypes than high foliage symptom RIL. A quantitative trait locus analysis identified significant QTL for flowering, height, 100-seed weight, and yield, and there was a significantly higher frequency of alleles for the negative agronomic traits (i.e., drag) from the 04067-81-2-1-1 parent in low foliage symptom RIL than in high foliage symptom RIL. For the Rupali × 04067-81-2-1-1 population with lower levels of PRR resistance, in the absence of PRR, low foliage symptom RIL had significantly lighter seed and shorter plants than high foliage symptom RIL. Significant QTL were detected, the majority were for the timing of flowering and podding (n = 18), others were for plant height, yield, and 100-seed weight. For this second population, the frequency of alleles for the negative agronomic traits from the 04067-81-2-1-1 parent did not differ between low and high foliage symptom RIL. The 100 seed weight of RIL under moderate PRR disease pressure showed some promise as a yield component trait to identify phenotypes with both high levels of PRR resistance and grain yield potential for further seed number evaluations. We identified that large population sizes are required to enable selection among chickpea × C. echinospermum crosses for high levels of PRR resistance without a significant drag on yield. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Legume Crops Research)
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12 pages, 1648 KiB  
Article
A Cluster of Peronospora parasitica 13-like (NBS-LRR) Genes Is Associated with Powdery Mildew (Erysiphe polygoni) Resistance in Mungbean (Vigna radiata)
by Pitsanupong Waengwan, Kularb Laosatit, Yun Lin, Tarika Yimram, Xingxing Yuan, Xin Chen and Prakit Somta
Plants 2024, 13(9), 1230; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13091230 - 29 Apr 2024
Viewed by 557
Abstract
Powdery mildew (PM) caused by Erysiphe polygoni is an important foliar disease in mungbean (Vigna radiata). A previous study showed that QTL qPMRUM5-2 is a major locus for PM resistance in mungbean accession RUM5 (highly resistant). Bioinformatics analysis revealed that flanking [...] Read more.
Powdery mildew (PM) caused by Erysiphe polygoni is an important foliar disease in mungbean (Vigna radiata). A previous study showed that QTL qPMRUM5-2 is a major locus for PM resistance in mungbean accession RUM5 (highly resistant). Bioinformatics analysis revealed that flanking markers of the qPMRUM5-2 covered a region of 1.93 Mb. In this study, we conducted fine mapping for the qPMRUM5-2 using the F2 population of 1156 plants of the cross between Chai Nat 60 (CN60; highly susceptible) and RUM5. PM resistance evaluation was performed under field conditions using F2:3 lines grown in three different environments. QTL analyses consistently located the qPMRUM5-2 to a 0.09 cm interval on linkage group 6 between InDel markers VrLG6-InDel05 and VrLG6-InDel10, which corresponded to a 135.0 kb region on chromosome 8 containing nine predicted genes of which five were NBS-LRR-type genes Recognition of Peronospora parasitica 13-like protein (RPP13L). Whole-genome re-sequencing of RUM5 and CN60 showed polymorphisms in four RPP13L genes predictively cause substantial amino acid changes, rendering them important candidate genes for PM resistance. The InDel markers VrLG6-InDel05 and VrLG6-InDel10 flanking to the qPMRUM5-2 would be useful for marker-assisted breeding of PM resistance in the mungbean. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Legume Crops Research)
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16 pages, 3166 KiB  
Article
Physiological Regulation of Photosynthetic-Related Indices, Antioxidant Defense, and Proline Anabolism on Drought Tolerance of Wild Soybean (Glycine soja L.)
by Song Lin, Weimei Zhang, Guifeng Wang, Yunxiang Hu, Xuanbo Zhong and Guixiang Tang
Plants 2024, 13(6), 880; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13060880 - 19 Mar 2024
Viewed by 835
Abstract
Wild soybean (Glycine soja L.), drought-tolerant cultivar Tiefeng 31 (Glycine max L.), and drought-sensitive cultivar Fendou 93 (Glycine max L.) were used as materials to investigate the drought tolerance mechanism after 72 h 2.5 M PEG 8000 (osmotic potential −0.54 [...] Read more.
Wild soybean (Glycine soja L.), drought-tolerant cultivar Tiefeng 31 (Glycine max L.), and drought-sensitive cultivar Fendou 93 (Glycine max L.) were used as materials to investigate the drought tolerance mechanism after 72 h 2.5 M PEG 8000 (osmotic potential −0.54 MPa)-simulated drought stress at the seedling stage. The results indicated that the leaves of the G. soja did not wilt under drought stress. However, both the drought-tolerant and drought-sensitive cultivated soybean cultivars experienced varying degrees of leaf wilt. Notably, the drought-sensitive cultivated soybean cultivars exhibited severe leaf wilt after the drought stress. Drought stress was determined to have a significant impact on the dry matter of the above-ground part of the drought-sensitive cultivar Fendou 93, followed by the drought-tolerant cultivar Tiefeng 31, with the lowest reduction observed in G. soja. Furthermore, the presence of drought stress resulted in the closure of leaf stomata. G. soja exhibited the highest proportion of stomatal opening per unit area, followed by the drought-tolerant cultivar Tiefeng 31, while the drought-sensitive cultivar Fendou 93 displayed the lowest percentage. Photosynthesis-related indexes, including photosynthetic rate, intercellular CO2, transpiration rate, and stomatal conductance, decreased in Fendou 93 and Tiefeng 31 after drought stress, but increased in G. soja. In terms of the antioxidant scavenging system, lower accumulation of malondialdehyde (MDA) was observed in G. soja and Tiefeng 31, along with higher activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD, EC 1.15.1.1) and catalase (CAT, EC 1.11.1.6) to counteract excess reactive oxygen species and maintain cell membrane integrity. In contrast, the drought-sensitive cultivar Fendou 93 had higher MDA content and higher activities of ascorbate peroxidase (APX, EC 1.11.1.11) and peroxidase (POD, 1.11.1.7). G. soja and Tiefeng 31 also exhibited less accumulation of osmolytes, including soluble sugar, soluble protein, and free proline content. The activities of δ-OAT, ProDH, and P5CS, key enzymes in proline anabolism, showed an initial increase under drought stress, followed by a decrease, and then an increase again at the end of drought stress in G. soja. Before drought stress, Tiefeng 31 had higher activities of ProDH and P5CS, which decreased with prolonged drought stress. Fendou 93 experienced an increase in the activities of δ-OAT, ProDH, and P5CS under drought stress. The δ-OAT gene expression levels were up-regulated in all three germplasms. The expression levels of the P5CS gene in Fendou 93 and Tiefeng 31 were down-regulated, while G. soja showed no significant change. The expression of the P5CR gene and ProDH gene was down-regulated in Fendou 93 and Tiefeng 31, but up-regulated in G. soja. This indicates that proline content is regulated at both the transcription and translation levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Legume Crops Research)
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16 pages, 5495 KiB  
Article
Overexpression of cry1c* Enhances Resistance against to Soybean Pod Borer (Leguminivora glycinivorella) in Soybean
by Qingxi Fang, Yingxue Cao, Thinzar Hla Oo, Chuang Zhang, Mingyu Yang, Yuecheng Tang, Meizi Wang, Wu Zhang, Ling Zhang, Yuhong Zheng, Wenbin Li and Fanli Meng
Plants 2024, 13(5), 630; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13050630 - 25 Feb 2024
Viewed by 943
Abstract
Soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.], an essential staple food and oil crop worldwide, boasts abundant vegetable proteins and fats beneficial for both human and animal consumption. However, the soybean pod borer (Leguminivora glycinivorella) (SPB) stands as the most destructive soybean [...] Read more.
Soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.], an essential staple food and oil crop worldwide, boasts abundant vegetable proteins and fats beneficial for both human and animal consumption. However, the soybean pod borer (Leguminivora glycinivorella) (SPB) stands as the most destructive soybean insect pest in northeast China and other northeastern Asian regions, leading to significant annual losses in soybean yield and economic burden. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the introduction of a previously tested codon-optimized cry1c gene, cry1c*, into the soybean genome and assess its effect on the SPB infestation by generating and characterizing stable transgenic soybeans overexpressing cry1c*. The transgenic soybean lines that constitutively overexpressed cry1c* exhibited a significant reduction in the percentage of damaged seeds, reaching as low as 5% in plants under field conditions. Additionally, feeding transgenic leaves to the larvae of S. exigua, S. litura, and M. separta resulted in inhibited larval growth, decreased larval body weight, and lower survival rates compared to larvae fed on wild-type leaves. These findings showed that the transgenic lines maintained their resistance to SPB and other lepidopteran pests, especially the transgenic line KC1. Southern blotting and genome-wide resequencing analysis revealed that T-DNA integration occurred as a single copy between loci 50,868,122 and 50,868,123 of chromosome 10 in the transgenic line KC1. Therefore, the transgenic line KC1, overexpressing high levels of cry1c* in leaves and seeds, holds strong potential for commercial use in the integrated management of SPB and other lepidopteran pests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Legume Crops Research)
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12 pages, 646 KiB  
Article
Efficient Single Nucleotide Polymorphism Marker-Assisted Selection to Fusarium Wilt in Chickpea
by Patricia Castro, Cristina Caballo, Alejandro Carmona, Teresa Millan, Juan Gil, José V. Die, Inmaculada Izquierdo and Josefa Rubio
Plants 2024, 13(3), 436; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13030436 - 1 Feb 2024
Viewed by 698
Abstract
Fusarium wilt is one of the most destructive chickpea diseases worldwide. Race 5 (Foc5) is the most harmful in the Mediterranean basin. The primary objective of this study is to validate a block of six SNP markers previously mapped in Ca2 in a [...] Read more.
Fusarium wilt is one of the most destructive chickpea diseases worldwide. Race 5 (Foc5) is the most harmful in the Mediterranean basin. The primary objective of this study is to validate a block of six SNP markers previously mapped in Ca2 in a diverse panel of cultivars, advanced and inbred lines phenotyped for resistance to fusarium wilt. Additionally, we aim to assess the effectiveness of using these markers in the selection of resistant Foc5 lines in an ongoing breeding program. The results showed a 100% coincidence between phenotype and expected haplotype in plant material evaluated for Foc5. We also analyzed 67 inbred lines previously phenotyped by different authors for fusarium wilt reaction, though the specific race was not specified. In these accessions, 65.8% of the analyzed lines exhibited complete correspondence between the phenotype and haplotype. Our results suggest that in early generations it is possible to select resistant materials with reliability, leading to the removal of a significant number of lines, thereby reducing costs and facilitating the handling of materials for additional trait evaluations. Functional annotation of genes delimited by the SNP block revealed several genes in the “response to stimulus” category with potential roles in the resistance reaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Legume Crops Research)
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18 pages, 4696 KiB  
Article
Genomic and Transcriptomic Analysis of Pea (Pisum sativum L.) Breeding Line ‘Triumph’ with High Symbiotic Responsivity
by Evgeny A. Zorin, Anton S. Sulima, Aleksandr I. Zhernakov, Daria O. Kuzmina, Valeria A. Rakova, Marina S. Kliukova, Daria A. Romanyuk, Olga A. Kulaeva, Gulnar A. Akhtemova, Oksana Y. Shtark, Igor A. Tikhonovich and Vladimir A. Zhukov
Plants 2024, 13(1), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13010078 - 26 Dec 2023
Viewed by 823
Abstract
Pea (Pisum sativum L.), like most legumes, forms mutualistic symbioses with nodule bacteria and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. The positive effect of inoculation is partially determined by the plant genotype; thus, pea varieties with high and low symbiotic responsivity have been described, [...] Read more.
Pea (Pisum sativum L.), like most legumes, forms mutualistic symbioses with nodule bacteria and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. The positive effect of inoculation is partially determined by the plant genotype; thus, pea varieties with high and low symbiotic responsivity have been described, but the molecular genetic basis of this trait remains unknown. Here, we compare the symbiotically responsive breeding line ‘Triumph’ of grain pea with its parental cultivars ‘Vendevil’ (a donor of high symbiotic responsivity) and ‘Classic’ (a donor of agriculturally valuable traits) using genome and transcriptome sequencing. We show that ‘Triumph’ inherited one-fourth of its genome from ‘Vendevil’, including the genes related to AM and nodule formation, and reveal that under combined inoculation with nodule bacteria and AM fungi, ‘Triumph’ and ‘Vendevil’, in contrast to ‘Classic’, demonstrate similar up-regulation of the genes related to solute transport, hormonal regulation and flavonoid biosynthesis in their roots. We also identify the gene PsGLP2, whose expression pattern distinguishing ‘Triumph’ and ‘Vendevil’ from ‘Classic’ correlates with difference within the promoter region sequence, making it a promising marker for the symbiotic responsivity trait. The results of this study may be helpful for future molecular breeding programs aimed at creation of symbiotically responsive cultivars of pea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Legume Crops Research)
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15 pages, 1566 KiB  
Article
Rapid and High Throughput Hydroponics Phenotyping Method for Evaluating Chickpea Resistance to Phytophthora Root Rot
by Muhammad A. Asif, Sean L. Bithell, Ramethaa Pirathiban, Brian R. Cullis, David Glyn Dionaldo Hughes, Aidan McGarty, Nicole Dron and Kristy Hobson
Plants 2023, 12(23), 4069; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12234069 - 4 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1095
Abstract
Phytophthora root rot (PRR) is a major constraint to chickpea production in Australia. Management options for controlling the disease are limited to crop rotation and avoiding high risk paddocks for planting. Current Australian cultivars have partial PRR resistance, and new sources of resistance [...] Read more.
Phytophthora root rot (PRR) is a major constraint to chickpea production in Australia. Management options for controlling the disease are limited to crop rotation and avoiding high risk paddocks for planting. Current Australian cultivars have partial PRR resistance, and new sources of resistance are needed to breed cultivars with improved resistance. Field- and glasshouse-based PRR resistance phenotyping methods are labour intensive, time consuming, and provide seasonally variable results; hence, these methods limit breeding programs’ abilities to screen large numbers of genotypes. In this study, we developed a new space saving (400 plants/m2), rapid (<12 days), and simplified hydroponics-based PRR phenotyping method, which eliminated seedling transplant requirements following germination and preparation of zoospore inoculum. The method also provided post-phenotyping propagation all the way through to seed production for selected high-resistance lines. A test of 11 diverse chickpea genotypes provided both qualitative (PRR symptoms) and quantitative (amount of pathogen DNA in roots) results demonstrating that the method successfully differentiated between genotypes with differing PRR resistance. Furthermore, PRR resistance hydroponic assessment results for 180 recombinant inbred lines (RILs) were correlated strongly with the field-based phenotyping, indicating the field phenotype relevance of this method. Finally, post-phenotyping high-resistance genotypes were selected. These were successfully transplanted and propagated all the way through to seed production; this demonstrated the utility of the rapid hydroponics method (RHM) for selection of individuals from segregating populations. The RHM will facilitate the rapid identification and propagation of new PRR resistance sources, especially in large breeding populations at early evaluation stages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Legume Crops Research)
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16 pages, 6605 KiB  
Article
A Multi-Model Based Stability Analysis Employing Multi-Environmental Trials (METs) Data for Discerning Heat Tolerance in Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) Landraces
by Thippeswamy Danakumara, Tapan Kumar, Neeraj Kumar, Basavanagouda Siddanagouda Patil, Chellapilla Bharadwaj, Umashankar Patel, Nilesh Joshi, Shayla Bindra, Shailesh Tripathi, Rajeev Kumar Varshney and Sushil Kumar Chaturvedi
Plants 2023, 12(21), 3691; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12213691 - 26 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1833
Abstract
Identifying a congenially targeted production environment and understanding the effects of genotype by environmental interactions on the adaption of chickpea genotypes is essential for achieving an optimal yield stability. Different models like additive main effect and multiplicative interactions (AMMI 1, AMM2), weighted average [...] Read more.
Identifying a congenially targeted production environment and understanding the effects of genotype by environmental interactions on the adaption of chickpea genotypes is essential for achieving an optimal yield stability. Different models like additive main effect and multiplicative interactions (AMMI 1, AMM2), weighted average absolute scores of BLUPs (WAASB), and genotype plus genotype–environment (GGE) interactions were used to understand their suitability in the precise estimation of variance and their interaction. Our experiment used genotypes that represent the West Asia–North Africa (WANA) region. This trial involved two different sowing dates, two distinct seasons, and three different locations, resulting in a total of 12 environments. Genotype IG 5871(G1) showed a lower heat susceptibility index (HSI) across environments under study. The first four interactions principal component axis (IPCA) explain 93.2% of variations with significant genotype–environment interactions. Considering the AMMI stability value (ASV), the genotypes IG5862(G7), IG5861(G6), ILC239(G40), IG6002(G26), and ILC1932(G39), showing ASV scores of 1.66, 1.80, 2.20, 2.60, and 2.84, respectively, were ranked as the most stable and are comparable to the weighted average absolute scores of BLUPs (WAASB) ranking of genotypes. The which–won–where pattern of genotype plus genotype–environment (GGE) interactions suggested that the target environment consists of one mega environment. IG5866(G10), IG5865(G9), IG5884(G14), and IG5862(G7) displayed higher stability, as they were nearer to the origin. The genotypes that exhibited a superior performance in the tested environments can serve as ideal parental lines for heat-stress tolerance breeding programs. The weighted average absolute scores of BLUPs (WAASB) serve as an ideal tool to discern the variations and identify the stable genotype among all methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Legume Crops Research)
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24 pages, 7949 KiB  
Article
The Content of Anthocyanins in Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.) Seeds and Contribution of the MYB Gene Cluster to Their Coloration Pattern
by Ekaterina А. Krylova, Aleksandra S. Mikhailova, Yulia N. Zinchenko, Irina N. Perchuk, Mayya P. Razgonova, Elena K. Khlestkina and Marina O. Burlyaeva
Plants 2023, 12(20), 3624; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12203624 - 20 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1056
Abstract
The intensively pigmented legumes belonging to Phaseolus and Vigna spp. are valued as an essential component of healthy nutrition due to their high content of flavonoids. In this context, we used the accessions of Vigna unguiculata with different colors of seed coats from [...] Read more.
The intensively pigmented legumes belonging to Phaseolus and Vigna spp. are valued as an essential component of healthy nutrition due to their high content of flavonoids. In this context, we used the accessions of Vigna unguiculata with different colors of seed coats from the N.I. Vavilov All-Russian Institute of Plant Genetic Resources collection as the main object of this research. We applied confocal laser scanning microscopy, biochemical analysis, and wide in silico and molecular genetic analyses to study the main candidate genes for anthocyanin pigmentation within the MYB cluster on chromosome 5. We performed statistical data processing. The anthocyanin content ranged from 2.96 mg/100 g DW in reddish-brown-seeded cowpea accessions to 175.16 mg/100 g DW in black-seeded ones. Laser microscopy showed that the autofluorescence in cowpea seeds was mainly caused by phenolic compounds. The maximum fluorescence was observed in the seed coat, while its dark color, due to the highest level of red fluorescence, pointed to the presence of anthocyanins and anthocyanidins. Genes of the MYB cluster on chromosome 5 demonstrated a high homology and were segregated into a separate clade. However, amplification products were not obtained for all genes because of the truncation of some genes. Statistical analysis showed a clear correlation between the high content of anthocyanins in cowpea seeds and the presence of PCR products with primers Vigun05g0393-300-1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Legume Crops Research)
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13 pages, 3095 KiB  
Article
The Overexpression of Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) AhALDH2B6 in Soybean Enhances Cold Resistance
by Mingyu Yang, Yuhan Teng, Tong Yue, Ziye Wang, Guanghui Feng, Jingwen Ruan, Shi Yan, Yuhong Zheng, Ling Zhang, Qingshan Chen and Fanli Meng
Plants 2023, 12(16), 2928; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12162928 - 12 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1314
Abstract
Soybeans are the main source of oils and protein for humans and animals; however, cold stress jeopardizes their growth and limits the soybean planting area. Aldehyde dehydrogenases (ALDH) are conserved enzymes that catalyze aldehyde oxidation for detoxification in response to stress. Additionally, transgenic [...] Read more.
Soybeans are the main source of oils and protein for humans and animals; however, cold stress jeopardizes their growth and limits the soybean planting area. Aldehyde dehydrogenases (ALDH) are conserved enzymes that catalyze aldehyde oxidation for detoxification in response to stress. Additionally, transgenic breeding is an efficient method for producing stress-resistant germplasms. In this study, the peanut ALDH gene AhALDH2B6 was heterologously expressed in soybean, and its function was tested. We performed RNA-seq using transgenic and wild-type soybeans with and without cold treatment to investigate the potential mechanism. Transgenic soybeans developed stronger cold tolerance, with longer roots and taller stems than P3 soybeans. Biochemically, the transgenic soybeans exhibited a decrease in malondialdehyde activity and an increase in peroxidase and catalase content, both of which are indicative of stress alleviation. They also possessed higher levels of ALDH enzyme activity. Two phenylpropanoid-related pathways were specifically enriched in up-regulated differentially expressed genes (DEGs), including the phenylpropanoid metabolic process and phenylpropanoid biosynthetic process. Our findings suggest that AhALDH2B6 specifically up-regulates genes involved in oxidoreductase-related functions such as peroxidase, oxidoreductase, monooxygenase, and antioxidant activity, which is partially consistent with our biochemical data. These findings established the function of AhALDH2B6, especially its role in cold stress processes, and provided a foundation for molecular plant breeding, especially plant-stress-resistance breeding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Legume Crops Research)
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20 pages, 17378 KiB  
Article
Phenylpropanoid Content of Chickpea Seed Coats in Relation to Seed Dormancy
by Veronika Sedláková, Sanja Ćavar Zeljković, Nikola Štefelová, Petr Smýkal and Pavel Hanáček
Plants 2023, 12(14), 2687; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12142687 - 19 Jul 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1255
Abstract
The physical dormancy of seeds is likely to be mediated by the chemical composition and the thickness of the seed coat. Here, we investigate the link between the content of phenylpropanoids (i.e., phenolics and flavonoids) present in the chickpea seed coat and dormancy. [...] Read more.
The physical dormancy of seeds is likely to be mediated by the chemical composition and the thickness of the seed coat. Here, we investigate the link between the content of phenylpropanoids (i.e., phenolics and flavonoids) present in the chickpea seed coat and dormancy. The relationship between selected phenolic and flavonoid metabolites of chickpea seed coats and dormancy level was assessed using wild and cultivated chickpea parental genotypes and a derived population of recombinant inbred lines (RILs). The selected phenolic and flavonoid metabolites were analyzed via the LC-MS/MS method. Significant differences in the concentration of certain phenolic acids were found among cultivated (Cicer arietinum, ICC4958) and wild chickpea (Cicer reticulatum, PI489777) parental genotypes. These differences were observed in the contents of gallic, caffeic, vanillic, syringic, p-coumaric, salicylic, and sinapic acids, as well as salicylic acid-2-O-β-d-glucoside and coniferaldehyde. Additionally, significant differences were observed in the flavonoids myricetin, quercetin, luteolin, naringenin, kaempferol, isoorientin, orientin, and isovitexin. When comparing non-dormant and dormant RILs, significant differences were observed in gallic, 3-hydroxybenzoic, syringic, and sinapic acids, as well as the flavonoids quercitrin, quercetin, naringenin, kaempferol, and morin. Phenolic acids were generally more highly concentrated in the wild parental genotype and dormant RILs. We compared the phenylpropanoid content of chickpea seed coats with related legumes, such as pea, lentil, and faba bean. This information could be useful in chickpea breeding programs to reduce dormancy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Legume Crops Research)
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Review

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11 pages, 2242 KiB  
Review
Progress in Adzuki Bean Seed Coat Colour Studies
by Zhen Wang, Wei Zhao, Yufei Huang, Pu Zhao, Kai Yang, Ping Wan and Liwei Chu
Plants 2023, 12(18), 3242; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12183242 - 12 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1341
Abstract
Seed coat colour is an important quality trait, domestication trait, and morphological marker, and it is closely associated with flavonoid and anthocyanin metabolism pathways. The seed coat colour of the adzuki bean, an important legume crop, influences the processing quality, the commodity itself, [...] Read more.
Seed coat colour is an important quality trait, domestication trait, and morphological marker, and it is closely associated with flavonoid and anthocyanin metabolism pathways. The seed coat colour of the adzuki bean, an important legume crop, influences the processing quality, the commodity itself, and its nutritional quality. In this review, a genetic analysis of different seed coat colours, gene mapping, metabolite content determination, and varietal improvement in adzuki bean are summarized. It provides further insight into gene mapping and cloning of seed coat colour genes and varietal improvements in adzuki beans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Legume Crops Research)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Selection for Phytophthora root rot resistance in chickpea crosses affects yield potential
Authors: Sean Bithell1, David Backhouse2, Andre Drenth3, Steve Harden1, and Kristy Hobson1
Affiliation: 1New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia. 2University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales, Australia. 3University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Abstract: Phytophthora root rot of chickpea (Cicer arietinum) caused by Phytophthora medicaginis is an important disease. Resistance is based on chickpeaxCicer echinospermum crosses providing quantitative and partial resistance. We tested if selection for lines with low levels of foliage symptoms in two contrasting recombinant inbred (RIL) populations of chickpeaxC. echinospermum crosses led to the selection of material that maximises yield. For the var. YorkerxC. echinospermum backcross RIL population with the highest level of resistance, in the absence of Phytophthora root rot, significant linkage drag effects were observed for later flowering, later podding, lower grain yields and 100 seed weight between low and high foliage symptom RIL groups. For the var. RupalixC. echinospermum backcross RIL population, with lower levels of resistance, the only significant difference between low and high foliage symptoms groups was for 100 seed weight. Across four P. medicaginis inoculated experiments and a natural inoculum experiment comparing low and high foliage symptom RIL groups, survival to maturity was the most consistently related foliage symptom parameter. Survival to maturity was more strongly related across experiments than grain yields. Comparison of foliage symptom parameters as grain yield predictors showed that for inoculated experiments the area under the disease progress stairs was the more consistent predictor of yield. Overall results showed foliage symptom based selection included some high yielding RIL in the most resistant population. Additional selection efforts in the absence of PRR disease will be required to identify the material with both the highest levels of PRR resistance and grain yield potential.

Title: Transcriptomic Analysis Reveals the Defense Mechanisms of Common Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) Infested with Anthracnose
Authors: Zhiyuan Li1, Daping Gong1, Xu Kaiyuan2, Mingli Chen1*
Affiliation: 1. Tobacco Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Qingdao, China 2. Harbin Institute of Technology, Weihai
Abstract: Abstract: Anthracnose (ANT), caused by the fungus Colletotrichum lindemuthianum, is one of the most destructive disease in common bean growth process. Until now, more than 100 physiologic races of Anthracnose have been identified around the world. Among them, the physiologic race No. 81 is the dominant race of anthracnose in China, which is widely distributed in bean growing areas. In this study, the expression pattern of various genes were analyzed in common bean plants that were infested by ANT for different durations (12, 24, and 48 hours). A total of 8,284 DEGs were significantly differentially expressed in response to ANT infection at all three time points. Several pathways related to defense were induced after ANT infection, such as cell wall biosynthesis, MAPK cascades, phenylpropanoid and Ca2+ influx, and some pathways related to defense reactions and signal transduction were activated in response to ANT infestation. After ANT infestation, the expression of several genes was significantly altered, including R proteins, phytohormones, transcription factors, and genes associated with secondary metabolite synthesis. At the molecular level, these findings greatly improve our understanding of the defense mechanisms of common bean plants against ANT infestation. The identification and functional characterization of the defense-related genes in this study will aid the molecular breeding of insect-resistant common bean varieties.

Title: GWAS analysis for quality traits (protein, tannin, vicine convicine content) in faba bean
Authors: Gutierrez N1, Moreno JM1, Ordóñez JL1, Pegard M2, Solis I3, Howard C4, Sokolovic D5, Torres AM1
Affiliation: 1 Área de Mejora Vegetal y Biotecnología, IFAPA Centro “Alameda del Obispo”, 14080, Córdoba, Spain 2 INRA, Centre Nouvelle-Aquitaine-Poitiers, UR4 (URP3F), 86600, Lusignan, France 3 Agrovegetal S.A., Demetrio de los Rios 15, 41003 Sevilla, Spain 5 Institute of Biological, Environmental & Rural Sciences (IBERS), Aberystwyth University, Plas Gogerddan, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion SY23 3EE, UK 4 Institute for Forage Crops, 37251 Globoder, Kruševac, Serbi
Abstract: NA at this moment. Data analysis in process

Title: Negative Effects of Nitrogen Fertilizer on Fixation in Common Bean
Authors: Yarmilla Reinprecht1, Lyndsay Schram1, Samantha Keyes1, John Sulik1, Jamie Larsen2, Brett Hill3, Thomas H. Smith1, and K. Peter Pauls1
Affiliation: 1Department of Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada 2Harrow Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Harrow, ON, Canada 3Lethbridge Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge, AB, Canada
Abstract: Common (dry) bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is the most important legume crop used for direct human consumption. Generally viewed as a poor nitrogen fixer, the crop is frequently fertilized with nitrogen in order to achieve high yields but this also inhibits nitrogen fixation. The main focus of this work is to reduce nitrogen application in common bean crop production. Initial work with genotypes from the Sanilac x Mist mapping population demonstrated variation in inhibition of nitrogen fixation by addition of nitrogen fertilizer. In some genotypes, nitrogen fixation was less affected by added nitrogen fertilizer. The objective of the current study was to evaluate a set of diverse bean genotypes for their capacity to fix atmospheric nitrogen in the presence of some nitrogen fertilizer. Twenty-one beans, including nine from the initial study, were tested under different nitrogen regimes {three sources of Rhizobium [no Rhizobium (0R) and two commercially available inoculants (OldR – strain used in the initial work and NewR - Nodulator) and three levels of nitrogen [50 kg ha-1 (50N), 100 kg ha-1 (100N) and no nitrogen (0N)]} in replicated trials using a split-split-plot design (SSPD) on N-poor land at the University of Guelph Elora Research Station over three years. In addition to the commonly collected field data, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) based remote sensing data were recorded for trials. Genotypes were significantly different for all analyzed traits, including yield and nitrogen fixation [measured as percent nitrogen derived from atmosphere (%Ndfa)] and yield. As expected, nitrogen significantly affected most of the analyzed traits. However, averaged over three years, the effect of rhizobia on most traits was marginal. The highest yield was achieved under the OldR_50N treatment while the %Ndfa was highest in the control treatment (0R_0N). In addition to confirm the good performance of lines RIL38 and RIL119, the study also identified a few bean cultivars commonly grown in Ontario that were high yielding and good nitrogen fixers under most of the applied nitrogen regimes. These genotypes may be useful for joint improvement of both traits. Additionally, there is potential to use UAV-based vegetation indices to predict yield as indicated by significant positive correlations between the traits.

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