The International Legume Society has announced a series of public webinars on topics related to legume cultivation and improvement.
The webinars will take place on Microsoft Teams on a monthly basis, usually on the first Tuesday of the month. The full list is as follows:
- Christian Huyghe (INRAE, France) – Perspectives, opportunities, challenges and burning research issues for legume crops in Europe – Sep. 6, 2022, 4 pm CET
- Petr Smykal (Palacky Univ., Olomouc, Czech Republic) – Domestication history of crop grain legumes – Oct. 4, 2022, 4 pm CET
- Julia Buitink (INRAE, France) – Improving the seed vigour of legumes – Nov. 8, 2022, 4 pm CET
- Michael Nickerson (Univ. of Saskatchewan, Canada) – Pulse protein functionality, nutritional quality and utilization in the food industry – Dec. 6, 2022, 4 pm CET
- Judith Burstin (INRAE, France) – We sequenced a legume genome: so what (for breeders)? –Jan. 10, 2023, 4 pm CET
- Nesli Sozer (VTT Technical Research Centre, Finland) – Opportunities and challenges of legumes as components of innovative food – Feb. 7, 2023, 4 pm CET
- Michael Udvardi (University of Queensland, Australia) – Genetics and genomics of symbiotic nitrogen fixation in legumes – Mar. 7, 2023, 9 pm CET
- Eric Justes (CIRAD, France) – Opportunities and challenges of grain legume-cereal intercropping – Apr. 4, 2023, 4 pm CET.
There will be further webinars on May 2 and June 6, but the topics have not yet been defined.
The importance of legumes
Legumes are likely to be of critical importance in the transition to plant-based diets. The EU-funded Smart Protein Project last year identified four crops as having especially high potential, and three of them — chickpeas, lentils, and fava beans — are legumes. Of particular significance is the fact that legumes are nitrogen fixers, helping to improve the health of the soil.
This research built on the findings of another EU project, PROTEIN2FOOD, which explored the potential of protein legumes such as lupin, faba beans, and lentils. The researchers hope that these legumes could increase the choice of plant-based protein products on the market, helping consumers to transition away from meat.
“Each of these crops has various special properties and abilities in terms of nutrition, environmental impact, and technological qualities. This grants them a unique and important position in the search for new ways to shape our food system,” said a spokesperson for the Smart Protein Project.