E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Pulses"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Botany".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2016)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Marcello Iriti

Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, Milan State University, Via G. Celoria 2, Milan 20133, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: bioactive phytochemicals; plant secondary metabolism; medicinal and food plants; environmental pollution; environmental stresses; nutraceuticals; functional foods; ethnobotany; complementary and alternative medicine

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As you very probably know, 2016 is the International Year of Pulses, declared during the 68th United Nations General Assembly (A/RES/68/231), which aims to heighten public awareness of the nutritional benefits of pulses as relevant and indispensable component of a healthy dietary style.

Pulses belong to the subfamily Faboideae, included in the Fabaceae family, and represented an essential part of the human diet for centuries (the cutivation of some legumes dates back to 7000–8000 BC). Pulses also play an important role for sustainability: they are a main component of crop rotations, they require less fertilisers than other crops and they are a low carbon source of protein. Indeed, because of their nitrogen-fixing propertied, legumes are part of the rotational crops farmers can use to maintain soil fertility. In addition, pulses are a protein source with a low footprint, in both carbon and water, thus improving sustainable food production and indirectly reducing greenhouse gas emission. In nutrition, pulses are part of a healthy, balanced diet and have been shown to have an important role in preventing chronic-degenerative diseases such as certain types of cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Therefore, they can be fully considered a ‘superfood’, source of protein, dietary fibre, minerals, vitamins, and bioactive phytochemicals, with low glycaemic index, gluten-free and zero cholesterol. Importantly, legumes are model organisms in botany and plant molecular biology, such as, for instance, Lotus and Medicago, used to study the symbiosis responsible for nitrogen fixation.

In this very wide context, we invite investigators to submit both original research and review articles that explore all these aspects. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Molecular Plant Biology
  • Genetics
  • Agronomy
  • Plant Disease
  • Crop Production
  • Environmental Pollution
  • Abiotic Stresses
  • Sustainability
  • Food Science
  • Nutrition

Professor Marcello Iriti
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • functional foods
  • plant foods
  • macronutrients
  • micronutrients
  • nutraceuticals
  • isoflavones
  • flavonoids
  • polyphenols
  • Mediterranean diet

Published Papers (15 papers)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-15
Export citation of selected articles as:

Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial Pulses, Healthy, and Sustainable Food Sources for Feeding the Planet
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(2), 255; doi:10.3390/ijms18020255
Received: 4 January 2017 / Revised: 22 January 2017 / Accepted: 23 January 2017 / Published: 25 January 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1326 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pulses, a subgroup of legumes, are plant foods from the Fabaceae (Leguminosae) family. According to FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), pulses are annual leguminous crops, used for both food and feed, yielding from 1 to 12 grains or seeds
[...] Read more.
Pulses, a subgroup of legumes, are plant foods from the Fabaceae (Leguminosae) family. According to FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), pulses are annual leguminous crops, used for both food and feed, yielding from 1 to 12 grains or seeds of variable size, shape, and color within a pod.[...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pulses)
Figures

Figure 1

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Open AccessArticle Genetic Variation Controlling Wrinkled Seed Phenotypes in Pisum: How Lucky Was Mendel?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1205; doi:10.3390/ijms18061205
Received: 28 April 2017 / Revised: 23 May 2017 / Accepted: 25 May 2017 / Published: 6 June 2017
PDF Full-text (12429 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
One of the traits studied by Mendel in pea (Pisum sativum L.) was the wrinkled-seeded phenotype, and the molecular basis for a mutation underlying this phenotype was discovered in the 1990s. Although the starch-branching enzyme gene mutation identified at the genetic locus
[...] Read more.
One of the traits studied by Mendel in pea (Pisum sativum L.) was the wrinkled-seeded phenotype, and the molecular basis for a mutation underlying this phenotype was discovered in the 1990s. Although the starch-branching enzyme gene mutation identified at the genetic locus r is most likely to be that in seeds available to Mendel in the mid-1800s, it has remained an open question as to whether or not additional natural mutations in this gene exist within Pisum germplasm collections. Here, we explore this question and show that all but two wrinkled-seeded variants in one such collection correspond to either the mutant allele described previously for the r locus or a mutation at a second genetic locus, rb, affecting the gene encoding the large subunit of Adenosine diphosphoglucose (ADP-glucose) pyrophosphorylase; the molecular basis for the rb mutation is described here. The genetic basis for the phenotype of one (JI 2110) of the two lines which are neither r nor rb has been studied in crosses with a round-seeded variant (JI 281); for which extensive genetic marker data were expected. In marked contrast to the trait studied by Mendel and the rb phenotype; the data suggest that the wrinkled-seeded phenotype in JI 2110 is maternally determined, controlled by two genetic loci, and the extent to which it is manifested is very sensitive to the environment. Metabolite analysis of the cotyledons of JI 2110 revealed a profile for sucrose and sucrose-derived compounds that was more similar to that of wild-type round-seeded, than that of wrinkled-seeded r, pea lines. However, the metabolite profile of the seed coat (testa) of JI 2110 was distinct from that of other round-seeded genotypes tested which, together with analysis of recombinant inbred progeny lines, suggests an explanation for the seed phenotype. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pulses)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Meta-Analyses of QTLs Associated with Protein and Oil Contents and Compositions in Soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] Seed
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1180; doi:10.3390/ijms18061180
Received: 30 April 2017 / Revised: 23 May 2017 / Accepted: 24 May 2017 / Published: 1 June 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1685 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] is a valuable and nutritious crop in part due to the high protein meal and vegetable oil produced from its seed. Soybean producers desire cultivars with both elevated seed protein and oil concentrations as well as specific
[...] Read more.
Soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] is a valuable and nutritious crop in part due to the high protein meal and vegetable oil produced from its seed. Soybean producers desire cultivars with both elevated seed protein and oil concentrations as well as specific amino acid and fatty acid profiles. Numerous studies have identified quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with seed composition traits, but validation of these QTLs has rarely been carried out. In this study, we have collected information, including genetic location and additive effects, on each QTL for seed contents of protein and oil, as well as amino acid and fatty acid compositions from over 80 studies. Using BioMercator V. 4.2, a meta-QTL analysis was performed with genetic information comprised of 175 QTLs for protein, 205 QTLs for oil, 156 QTLs for amino acids, and 113 QTLs for fatty acids. A total of 55 meta-QTL for seed composition were detected on 6 out of 20 chromosomes. Meta-QTL possessed narrower confidence intervals than the original QTL and candidate genes were identified within each meta-QTL. These candidate genes elucidate potential natural genetic variation in genes contributing to protein and oil biosynthesis and accumulation, providing meaningful information to further soybean breeding programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pulses)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Genome-Wide Analyses of the Soybean F-Box Gene Family in Response to Salt Stress
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 818; doi:10.3390/ijms18040818
Received: 3 March 2017 / Revised: 3 April 2017 / Accepted: 4 April 2017 / Published: 12 April 2017
PDF Full-text (2804 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The F-box family is one of the largest gene families in plants that regulate diverse life processes, including salt responses. However, the knowledge of the soybean F-box genes and their roles in salt tolerance remains limited. Here, we conducted a genome-wide survey of
[...] Read more.
The F-box family is one of the largest gene families in plants that regulate diverse life processes, including salt responses. However, the knowledge of the soybean F-box genes and their roles in salt tolerance remains limited. Here, we conducted a genome-wide survey of the soybean F-box family, and their expression analysis in response to salinity via in silico analysis of online RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) data and quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) to predict their potential functions. A total of 725 potential F-box proteins encoded by 509 genes were identified and classified into 9 subfamilies. The gene structures, conserved domains and chromosomal distributions were characterized. There are 76 pairs of duplicate genes identified, including genome-wide segmental and tandem duplication events, which lead to the expansion of the number of F-box genes. The in silico expression analysis showed that these genes would be involved in diverse developmental functions and play an important role in salt response. Our qRT-PCR analysis confirmed 12 salt-responding F-box genes. Overall, our results provide useful information on soybean F-box genes, especially their potential roles in salt tolerance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pulses)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Short-Term Local Adaptation of Historical Common Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) Varieties and Implications for In Situ Management of Bean Diversity
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(3), 493; doi:10.3390/ijms18030493
Received: 29 December 2016 / Revised: 3 February 2017 / Accepted: 20 February 2017 / Published: 28 February 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3707 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Recognizing both the stakes of traditional European common bean diversity and the role farmers’ and gardeners’ networks play in maintaining this diversity, the present study examines the role that local adaptation plays for the management of common bean diversity in situ. To the
[...] Read more.
Recognizing both the stakes of traditional European common bean diversity and the role farmers’ and gardeners’ networks play in maintaining this diversity, the present study examines the role that local adaptation plays for the management of common bean diversity in situ. To the purpose, four historical bean varieties and one modern control were multiplied on two organic farms for three growing seasons. The fifteen resulting populations, the initial ones and two populations of each variety obtained after the three years of multiplication, were then grown in a common garden. Twenty-two Simple Sequence Repeat (SSR) markers and 13 phenotypic traits were assessed. In total, 68.2% of tested markers were polymorphic and a total of 66 different alleles were identified. FST analysis showed that the genetic composition of two varieties multiplied in different environments changed. At the phenotypic level, differences were observed in flowering date and leaf length. Results indicate that three years of multiplication suffice for local adaptation to occur. The spatial dynamics of genetic and phenotypic bean diversity imply that the maintenance of diversity should be considered at the scale of the network, rather than individual farms and gardens. The microevolution of bean populations within networks of gardens and farms emerges as a research perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pulses)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Differential Gene Expression in the Meristem and during Early Fruit Growth of Pisum sativum L. Identifies Potential Targets for Breeding
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(2), 428; doi:10.3390/ijms18020428
Received: 4 October 2016 / Revised: 15 December 2016 / Accepted: 8 February 2017 / Published: 16 February 2017
PDF Full-text (2410 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
For successful molecular breeding it is important to identify targets to the gene family level, and in the specific species of interest, in this case Pisum sativum L. The cytokinins have been identified as a key breeding target due to their influence on
[...] Read more.
For successful molecular breeding it is important to identify targets to the gene family level, and in the specific species of interest, in this case Pisum sativum L. The cytokinins have been identified as a key breeding target due to their influence on plant architecture, and on seed size and sink activity. We focused on the cytokinin biosynthetic gene family (the IPTs) and the gene family key to the destruction of cytokinins (the CKXs), as well as other gene families potentially affected by changing cytokinin levels. These included key meristem genes (WUS and BAM1) and the transporter gene families, sucrose transporters (SUTs) and amino acid permeases (AAPs). We used reverse transcription quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) to monitor gene expression in the vegetative meristem and in pre- and post-fertilisation young pea fruits. PsWUS expression was specific to the shoot apical meristem while PsBAM1 was highly expressed in the shoot apical meristem (SAM) but was also expressed at a low level in the young fruit. Differential expression was shown between genes and within gene families for IPT, CKX, SUT, and AAP. PsCKX7 showed strong gene family member-specific expression in the SAM, and was also expressed in young pea fruits. We suggest that PsCKX7 is a potential target for downregulation via molecular breeding or gene editing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pulses)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Comparison of Small RNA Profiles of Glycine max and Glycine soja at Early Developmental Stages
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(12), 2043; doi:10.3390/ijms17122043
Received: 28 October 2016 / Revised: 24 November 2016 / Accepted: 29 November 2016 / Published: 6 December 2016
PDF Full-text (2049 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Small RNAs, including microRNAs (miRNAs) and phased small interfering RNAs (phasiRNAs; from PHAS loci), play key roles in plant development. Cultivated soybean, Glycine max, contributes a great deal to food production, but, compared to its wild kin, Glycine soja, it may
[...] Read more.
Small RNAs, including microRNAs (miRNAs) and phased small interfering RNAs (phasiRNAs; from PHAS loci), play key roles in plant development. Cultivated soybean, Glycine max, contributes a great deal to food production, but, compared to its wild kin, Glycine soja, it may lose some genetic information during domestication. In this work, we analyzed the sRNA profiles of different tissues in both cultivated (C08) and wild soybeans (W05) at three stages of development. A total of 443 known miRNAs and 15 novel miRNAs showed varying abundances between different samples, but the miRNA profiles were generally similar in both accessions. Based on a sliding window analysis workflow that we developed, 50 PHAS loci generating 55 21-nucleotide phasiRNAs were identified in C08, and 46 phasiRNAs from 41 PHAS loci were identified in W05. In germinated seedlings, phasiRNAs were more abundant in C08 than in W05. Disease resistant TIR-NB-LRR genes constitute a very large family of PHAS loci. PhasiRNAs were also generated from several loci that encode for NAC transcription factors, Dicer-like 2 (DCL2), Pentatricopeptide Repeat (PPR), and Auxin Signaling F-box 3 (AFB3) proteins. To investigate the possible involvement of miRNAs in initiating the PHAS-phasiRNA pathway, miRNA target predictions were performed and 17 C08 miRNAs and 15 W05 miRNAs were predicted to trigger phasiRNAs biogenesis. In summary, we provide a comprehensive description of the sRNA profiles of wild versus cultivated soybeans, and discuss the possible roles of sRNAs during soybean germination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pulses)
Figures

Figure 1a

Open AccessArticle Cytokinins and Expression of SWEET, SUT, CWINV and AAP Genes Increase as Pea Seeds Germinate
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(12), 2013; doi:10.3390/ijms17122013
Received: 26 October 2016 / Revised: 24 November 2016 / Accepted: 25 November 2016 / Published: 1 December 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (749 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Transporter genes and cytokinins are key targets for crop improvement. These genes are active during the development of the seed and its establishment as a strong sink. However, during germination, the seed transitions to being a source for the developing root and shoot.
[...] Read more.
Transporter genes and cytokinins are key targets for crop improvement. These genes are active during the development of the seed and its establishment as a strong sink. However, during germination, the seed transitions to being a source for the developing root and shoot. To determine if the sucrose transporter (SUT), amino acid permease (AAP), Sugar Will Eventually be Exported Transporter (SWEET), cell wall invertase (CWINV), cytokinin biosynthesis (IPT), activation (LOG) and degradation (CKX) gene family members are involved in both the sink and source activities of seeds, we used RT-qPCR to determine the expression of multiple gene family members, and LC-MS/MS to ascertain endogenous cytokinin levels in germinating Pisum sativum L. We show that genes that are actively expressed when the seed is a strong sink during its development, are also expressed when the seed is in the reverse role of being an active source during germination and early seedling growth. Cytokinins were detected in the imbibing seeds and were actively biosynthesised during germination. We conclude that, when the above gene family members are targeted for seed yield improvement, a downstream effect on subsequent seed germination or seedling vigour must be taken into consideration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pulses)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Generation and Characterisation of a Reference Transcriptome for Lentil (Lens culinaris Medik.)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(11), 1887; doi:10.3390/ijms17111887
Received: 5 July 2016 / Revised: 19 September 2016 / Accepted: 31 October 2016 / Published: 12 November 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2026 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
RNA-Seq using second-generation sequencing technologies permits generation of a reference unigene set for a given species, in the absence of a well-annotated genome sequence, supporting functional genomics studies, gene characterisation and detailed expression analysis for specific morphophysiological or environmental stress response traits. A
[...] Read more.
RNA-Seq using second-generation sequencing technologies permits generation of a reference unigene set for a given species, in the absence of a well-annotated genome sequence, supporting functional genomics studies, gene characterisation and detailed expression analysis for specific morphophysiological or environmental stress response traits. A reference unigene set for lentil has been developed, consisting of 58,986 contigs and scaffolds with an N50 length of 1719 bp. Comparison to gene complements from related species, reference protein databases, previously published lentil transcriptomes and a draft genome sequence validated the current dataset in terms of degree of completeness and utility. A large proportion (98%) of unigenes were expressed in more than one tissue, at varying levels. Candidate genes associated with mechanisms of tolerance to both boron toxicity and time of flowering were identified, which can eventually be used for the development of gene-based markers. This study has provided a comprehensive, assembled and annotated reference gene set for lentil that can be used for multiple applications, permitting identification of genes for pathway-specific expression analysis, genetic modification approaches, development of resources for genotypic analysis, and assistance in the annotation of a future lentil genome sequence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pulses)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Salinity-Induced Variation in Biochemical Markers Provides Insight into the Mechanisms of Salt Tolerance in Common (Phaseolus vulgaris) and Runner (P. coccineus) Beans
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(9), 1582; doi:10.3390/ijms17091582
Received: 5 August 2016 / Revised: 7 September 2016 / Accepted: 12 September 2016 / Published: 20 September 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2253 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The evaluation of biochemical markers is important for the understanding of the mechanisms of tolerance to salinity of Phaseolus beans. We have evaluated several growth parameters in young plants of three Phaseolus vulgaris cultivars subjected to four salinity levels (0, 50, 100, and
[...] Read more.
The evaluation of biochemical markers is important for the understanding of the mechanisms of tolerance to salinity of Phaseolus beans. We have evaluated several growth parameters in young plants of three Phaseolus vulgaris cultivars subjected to four salinity levels (0, 50, 100, and 150 mM NaCl); one cultivar of P. coccineus, a closely related species reported as more salt tolerant than common bean, was included as external reference. Biochemical parameters evaluated in leaves of young plants included the concentrations of ions (Na+, K+, and Cl), osmolytes (proline, glycine betaine, and total soluble sugars), and individual soluble carbohydrates. Considerable differences were found among cultivars, salinity levels, and in their interaction for most traits. In general, the linear component of the salinity factor for the growth parameters and biochemical markers was the most important. Large differences in the salinity response were found, with P. vulgaris cultivars “The Prince” and “Maxidor” being, respectively, the most susceptible and tolerant ones. Our results support that salt stress tolerance in beans is mostly based on restriction of Na+ (and, to a lesser extent, also of Cl) transport to shoots, and on the accumulation of myo-inositol for osmotic adjustment. These responses to stress during vegetative growth appear to be more efficient in the tolerant P. vulgaris cultivar “Maxidor”. Proline accumulation is a reliable marker of the level of salt stress affecting Phaseolus plants, but does not seem to be directly related to stress tolerance mechanisms. These results provide useful information on the responses to salinity of Phaseolus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pulses)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Analysis of Large Seeds from Three Different Medicago truncatula Ecotypes Reveals a Potential Role of Hormonal Balance in Final Size Determination of Legume Grains
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(9), 1472; doi:10.3390/ijms17091472
Received: 14 July 2016 / Revised: 21 August 2016 / Accepted: 23 August 2016 / Published: 8 September 2016
PDF Full-text (3016 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Legume seeds are important as protein and oil source for human diet. Understanding how their final seed size is determined is crucial to improve crop yield. In this study, we analyzed seed development of three accessions of the model legume, Medicago truncatula,
[...] Read more.
Legume seeds are important as protein and oil source for human diet. Understanding how their final seed size is determined is crucial to improve crop yield. In this study, we analyzed seed development of three accessions of the model legume, Medicago truncatula, displaying contrasted seed size. By comparing two large seed accessions to the reference accession A17, we described mechanisms associated with large seed size determination and potential factors modulating the final seed size. We observed that early events during embryogenesis had a major impact on final seed size and a delayed heart stage embryo development resulted to large seeds. We also observed that the difference in seed growth rate was mainly due to a difference in embryo cell number, implicating a role of cell division rate. Large seed accessions could be explained by an extended period of cell division due to a longer embryogenesis phase. According to our observations and recent reports, we observed that auxin (IAA) and abscisic acid (ABA) ratio could be a key determinant of cell division regulation at the end of embryogenesis. Overall, our study highlights that timing of events occurring during early seed development play decisive role for final seed size determination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pulses)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Functional Characterization of Soybean Glyma04g39610 as a Brassinosteroid Receptor Gene and Evolutionary Analysis of Soybean Brassinosteroid Receptors
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(6), 897; doi:10.3390/ijms17060897
Received: 9 April 2016 / Revised: 17 May 2016 / Accepted: 19 May 2016 / Published: 7 June 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (8787 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Brassinosteroids (BR) play important roles in plant growth and development. Although BR receptors have been intensively studied in Arabidopsis, the BR receptors in soybean remain largely unknown. Here, in addition to the known receptor gene Glyma06g15270 (GmBRI1a), we identified five
[...] Read more.
Brassinosteroids (BR) play important roles in plant growth and development. Although BR receptors have been intensively studied in Arabidopsis, the BR receptors in soybean remain largely unknown. Here, in addition to the known receptor gene Glyma06g15270 (GmBRI1a), we identified five putative BR receptor genes in the soybean genome: GmBRI1b, GmBRL1a, GmBRL1b, GmBRL2a, and GmBRL2b. Analysis of their expression patterns by quantitative real-time PCR showed that they are ubiquitously expressed in primary roots, lateral roots, stems, leaves, and hypocotyls. We used rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) to clone GmBRI1b (Glyma04g39160), and found that the predicted amino acid sequence of GmBRI1b showed high similarity to those of AtBRI1 and pea PsBRI1. Structural modeling of the ectodomain also demonstrated similarities between the BR receptors of soybean and Arabidopsis. GFP-fusion experiments verified that GmBRI1b localizes to the cell membrane. We also explored GmBRI1b function in Arabidopsis through complementation experiments. Ectopic over-expression of GmBRI1b in Arabidopsis BR receptor loss-of-function mutant (bri1-5 bak1-1D) restored hypocotyl growth in etiolated seedlings; increased the growth of stems, leaves, and siliques in light; and rescued the developmental defects in leaves of the bri1-6 mutant, and complemented the responses of BR biosynthesis-related genes in the bri1-5 bak1-D mutant grown in light. Bioinformatics analysis demonstrated that the six BR receptor genes in soybean resulted from three gene duplication events during evolution. Phylogenetic analysis classified the BR receptors in dicots and monocots into three subclades. Estimation of the synonymous (Ks) and the nonsynonymous substitution rate (Ka) and selection pressure (Ka/Ks) revealed that the Ka/Ks of BR receptor genes from dicots and monocots were less than 1.0, indicating that BR receptor genes in plants experienced purifying selection during evolution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pulses)
Figures

Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

Open AccessReview β-N-Oxalyl-l-α,β-diaminopropionic Acid (β-ODAP) Content in Lathyrus sativus: The Integration of Nitrogen and Sulfur Metabolism through β-Cyanoalanine Synthase
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(3), 526; doi:10.3390/ijms18030526
Received: 3 January 2017 / Revised: 6 February 2017 / Accepted: 21 February 2017 / Published: 28 February 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2522 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Grass pea (Lathyrus sativus L.) is an important legume crop grown mainly in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. This underutilized legume can withstand harsh environmental conditions including drought and flooding. During drought-induced famines, this protein-rich legume serves as a food source for
[...] Read more.
Grass pea (Lathyrus sativus L.) is an important legume crop grown mainly in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. This underutilized legume can withstand harsh environmental conditions including drought and flooding. During drought-induced famines, this protein-rich legume serves as a food source for poor farmers when other crops fail under harsh environmental conditions; however, its use is limited because of the presence of an endogenous neurotoxic nonprotein amino acid β-N-oxalyl-l-α,β-diaminopropionic acid (β-ODAP). Long-term consumption of Lathyrus and β-ODAP is linked to lathyrism, which is a degenerative motor neuron syndrome. Pharmacological studies indicate that nutritional deficiencies in methionine and cysteine may aggravate the neurotoxicity of β-ODAP. The biosynthetic pathway leading to the production of β-ODAP is poorly understood, but is linked to sulfur metabolism. To date, only a limited number of studies have been conducted in grass pea on the sulfur assimilatory enzymes and how these enzymes regulate the biosynthesis of β-ODAP. Here, we review the current knowledge on the role of sulfur metabolism in grass pea and its contribution to β-ODAP biosynthesis. Unraveling the fundamental steps and regulation of β-ODAP biosynthesis in grass pea will be vital for the development of improved varieties of this underutilized legume. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pulses)
Figures

Open AccessReview Potential Uses of Wild Germplasms of Grain Legumes for Crop Improvement
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(2), 328; doi:10.3390/ijms18020328
Received: 17 December 2016 / Revised: 26 January 2017 / Accepted: 26 January 2017 / Published: 4 February 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (598 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Challenged by population increase, climatic change, and soil deterioration, crop improvement is always a priority in securing food supplies. Although the production of grain legumes is in general lower than that of cereals, the nutritional value of grain legumes make them important components
[...] Read more.
Challenged by population increase, climatic change, and soil deterioration, crop improvement is always a priority in securing food supplies. Although the production of grain legumes is in general lower than that of cereals, the nutritional value of grain legumes make them important components of food security. Nevertheless, limited by severe genetic bottlenecks during domestication and human selection, grain legumes, like other crops, have suffered from a loss of genetic diversity which is essential for providing genetic materials for crop improvement programs. Illustrated by whole-genome-sequencing, wild relatives of crops adapted to various environments were shown to maintain high genetic diversity. In this review, we focused on nine important grain legumes (soybean, peanut, pea, chickpea, common bean, lentil, cowpea, lupin, and pigeonpea) to discuss the potential uses of their wild relatives as genetic resources for crop breeding and improvement, and summarized the various genetic/genomic approaches adopted for these purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pulses)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview The Use of Gene Modification and Advanced Molecular Structure Analyses towards Improving Alfalfa Forage
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(2), 298; doi:10.3390/ijms18020298
Received: 8 December 2016 / Revised: 10 January 2017 / Accepted: 19 January 2017 / Published: 29 January 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (458 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Abstract: Alfalfa is one of the most important legume forage crops in the world. In spite of its agronomic and nutritive advantages, alfalfa has some limitations in the usage of pasture forage and hay supplement. High rapid degradation of protein in alfalfa poses
[...] Read more.
Abstract: Alfalfa is one of the most important legume forage crops in the world. In spite of its agronomic and nutritive advantages, alfalfa has some limitations in the usage of pasture forage and hay supplement. High rapid degradation of protein in alfalfa poses a risk of rumen bloat to ruminants which could cause huge economic losses for farmers. Coupled with the relatively high lignin content, which impedes the degradation of carbohydrate in rumen, alfalfa has unbalanced and asynchronous degradation ratio of nitrogen to carbohydrate (N/CHO) in rumen. Genetic engineering approaches have been used to manipulate the expression of genes involved in important metabolic pathways for the purpose of improving the nutritive value, forage yield, and the ability to resist abiotic stress. Such gene modification could bring molecular structural changes in alfalfa that are detectable by advanced structural analytical techniques. These structural analyses have been employed in assessing alfalfa forage characteristics, allowing for rapid, convenient and cost-effective analysis of alfalfa forage quality. In this article, we review two major obstacles facing alfalfa utilization, namely poor protein utilization and relatively high lignin content, and highlight genetic studies that were performed to overcome these drawbacks, as well as to introduce other improvements to alfalfa quality. We also review the use of advanced molecular structural analysis in the assessment of alfalfa forage for its potential usage in quality selection in alfalfa breeding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pulses)
Figures

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: Comparative transcriptomic analysis of seed coat in relation to pea domestication
Authors: Hradilová Iveta, Trněný Oldřich, Krezdorn Nicolas, Khan W. Aamir, Varshney Rajeev, Winter Peter,Smýkal Petr
Abstract: Seed germination determines when plants begin growth in natural or agricultural ecosystems. In the wild, many seeds exhibit dormancy. In contrast, crops germinate as soon as they are imbibed usually at planting time. Physical dormancy involves the development of a water-impermeable seed coat. The objective of this study is to identify genetic basis of pea seed dormancy, one of the key domestication trait. Four parental contrasting genotypes were selected for comparative transcriptomic analysis. These included wild dormant P. elatius (JI64, VIR320) and cultivated P. sativum non-dormant (JI92, cv. Cameor). In addition two bulks (phenotypically assessed as dormant or non-dormant) of recombinant inbred lines (RILs) from JI64 x JI92 cross were used. Massive analysis of cDNA Ends (MACE) approach was applied on pooled sample from several developmental stages of isolated seed coat, resulting in over 10 million reads per sample. The reference sequences consisted of all Pisum mRNA sequences from NCBI and annotated to all Fabaceae proteins from Uniprot, by BLASTX to Swissprot and afterwards to Trembl protein databases. Normalization and test for differential gene expression between the bulks were calculated using the DEGSeq R/Bioconductor package. Gene Ontology enrichment analysis was performed by GenXPro available at www.tools.genxpro.net. GO-terms enrichment was calculated by the Fisher exact test based on transcripts that were differentially expressed at log2 higher than 2 and p-value of less than or equal to 0.05. Bioinformatic analysis resulted in identification of 976 differentially expressed genes between wild and cultivated genotypes. Of these the expression of 20 selected genes was studied by qRT-PCR at two developmental stages in four parental genotypes. The results will be shown and discussed in light of seed dormancy as well as domestication transition.

Title: Analysis of large seeds from three different Medicago truncatula ecotypes reveals a potential role of hormonal balance in final size determination of legume grains.
Authors: Kaustav Bandyopadhyay, Orhan Uluçay, Michael K. Udvardi, Muhammet Şakiroğlu and Jerome Verdier
Abstract: Legume seeds are an important protein and oil source for human diet and understanding how leguminous seeds develop and how their final seed size is determined are crucial economical questions in order to improve crop seed yield. In this study, we analysed seed development of three accessions of the model legume, Medicago truncatula, displaying contrasted phenotypes in seed size. By comparing two large seed accessions to the reference accession A17, we described mechanisms associated with large seed size determination to understand factors modulating the final seed size. We observed that early events during embryogenesis had an impact on final seed size and the large seed accessions resulted from a delayed embryo development to reach the heart stage. We also observed that the difference in seed growth rate was mainly due to a difference in embryo cell number, implicating a role of cell division rate. The higher cell number in large seed accessions could be explained by an extended period of cell division due to a longer embryogenesis phase. According to our observations and recent reports, we hypothesized that IAA and ABA ratio could be a key determinant of this process, probably acting as ON and OFF switches for cell division and entry into maturation phase. Overall, our study highlights that timing of events occurring during early seed development play decisive role for final seed size determination.

Back to Top