Research Topic

Genomics in leguminous plant-nutrition research

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About this Research Topic

Leguminous plants have high validity at biological, ecological, and agronomical levels. Legumes incorporate atmospheric nitrogen into the food chain through symbiotic associations with nitrogen-fixing rhizobia. Grains from most legumes (e.g. common bean, soybean and chickpea) are the main source of protein ...

Leguminous plants have high validity at biological, ecological, and agronomical levels. Legumes incorporate atmospheric nitrogen into the food chain through symbiotic associations with nitrogen-fixing rhizobia. Grains from most legumes (e.g. common bean, soybean and chickpea) are the main source of protein and secondary metabolites for human consumption, and certain leguminous grains are also used to generate biofuels. Unfortunately, most of the arable lands, where legumes are grown, have some degree of nutrient deficiency. This situation can compromise the production of these crop plants and affects seed quality. To cope with this constraint, farmers from around the world apply mineral fertilizers to legumes, which decreases biological N2 fixation and increases the risk for environmental pollution. Therefore, it is important to understand how leguminous plants adapt to nutritional stress.

During the past decade, several improvements in legume genomics have been made. For example, the genome sequence, DNA methylome and transcriptional maps of different legumes, including common bean, soybean, chickpea and Medicago truncatula, have been generated. Likewise, different genomic tools, for example different approaches for gene silencing (e.g. RNAi, TALEN, Zinc Finger Nuclease and CRISPR) have been developed lately. These tools give the unique opportunity to perform genome-wide and functional genomic analyses on either of these legumes and understand how they adapt and/or respond to nutrient deficiency stress.

The high relevance and the serious issue of nutrient deficiency in the production of leguminous crop plants motivates this research topic. We welcome submissions of any article describing research using genomic approaches to better understand leguminous plant responses (either under symbiotic or non-symbiotic conditions) to nutrient deficiencies, including Reviews, Mini-Reviews, Book Reviews, Commentaries, Perspectives or other article types.


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