Neglected treasures in the wild - legume wild relatives in food security and human health.
Zhang Hengyou, Yasmin Farida, Song Bao-Hua
Current opinion in plant biology
The legume family (Fabaceae) is the third-largest flowering family with over 18 000 species worldwide that are rich in proteins, oils, and nutrients. However, the production potential of legume-derived food cannot meet increasing global demand. Wild legumes represent a large group of wild species adaptive to diverse habitats and harbor rich genetic diversity for the improvement of the agronomic, nutritional, and medicinal values of the domesticated legumes. Accumulating evidence suggests that the genetic variation retained in these under-exploited leguminous wild relatives can be used to improve crop yield, nutrient contents, and resistance/tolerance to environmental stresses via the integration of omics, genetics, and genome-editing technologies.