M. Rai, S. Pandey, D. Ram, N. Rai, A.K. Pandey, D.S. Yadav
Indian gene center has rich biodiversity in vegetable and legume crops. Vegetables are grown from dry temperate to humid tropics between the altitudes from sea level to snow line. Nowadays vegetables are becoming more popular considering their nutritional and pharmaceutical importance. In 3-4 decades major emphasis for research was given on production of major vegetable to increase the yield. However, presently more attention is being focused on the introduction and production of indigenous vegetable. In India, there are several lesser known leguminous vegetable crops which have tremendous potential. The legume family is the third largest flowering plants family with approximately 650 genera and nearly 20,000 species. Out of these pea (Pisum sativum), cowpea (Vigna unguiculata), winged bean (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus), Indian bean (Dolichos lablabs), jack bean (Cannavalia ensiformis), mucuna bean (Mucuna pruriens), cluster bean (Cyamosis tetragonoloba), etc. are important. The other beans need attention for improvement includes tree bean (Parkia roxburghaii), sword bean (Cannavalia gladiata) and faba bean (Vicia faba). Besides, India is centre for origin and diversity of number of underutilized vegetable crops, i.e., spine gourd (Momordica dioica), sweet gourd (Momordica cochinchinensis), Kachari (Cucumis callosus), ivy gourd (Cocsinia grandis) and melothria (Solena amplexicaulis) etc. A number of underutilized vegetable introduced and acclimatized in India include tree tomato (Cyphomandra fetacea), cho-cho (Sechium edule), meetha karela (Cyclenthra pedata). Serious threat to the genetic diversity of these species found while they are important to food, nutritional and economic security. Genetic variation in legumes and underutilized vegetables is of prime importance for the successful breeding of improved cultivar with added value and desirable resistance of diseases and pest. A network project has launched on “Improvement of underutilized vegetable crops” under which a total of 2000 accessions of different underutilized vegetable crops have been collected and are being evaluated for important agri-horticultural traits and abiotic stress.
Rai, M., Pandey, S., Ram, D., Rai, N., Pandey, A.K. and Yadav, D.S. (2007). PLANT GENETIC RESOURCES OF LEGUMES AND UNDERUTILIZED VEGETABLE CROPS IN INDIA. Acta Hortic. 752, 225-230
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2007.752.36
Legume, underutilized vegetable, India, plant genetic resources, origin, germplasm

Acta Horticulturae