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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1202; doi:10.3390/ijms18061202

Molecular, Genetic and Agronomic Approaches to Utilizing Pulses as Cover Crops and Green Manure into Cropping Systems

1
Laboratory of Plant Breeding and Biometry, Department of Crop Science, Agricultural University of Athens, IeraOdos 75, Athens 11855, Greece
2
Laboratory of Range Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Environment, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki 54124, Greece
3
Laboratory of Weed Science, BenakiPhytopathological Institute, S. Delta 8, Athens 14561, Greece
4
Laboratory of Agronomy, Department of Crop Science, Agricultural University of Athens, IeraOdos 75, Athens 11855, Greece
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marcello Iriti
Received: 12 April 2017 / Revised: 28 May 2017 / Accepted: 30 May 2017 / Published: 5 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Botany)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [683 KB, uploaded 7 June 2017]   |  

Abstract

Cover crops constitute one of the most promising agronomic practices towards a more sustainable agriculture. Their beneficial effects on main crops, soil and environment are many and various, while risks and disadvantages may also appear. Several legumes show a high potential but further research is required in order to suggest the optimal legume cover crops for each case in terms of their productivity and ability to suppress weeds. The additional cost associated with cover crops should also be addressed and in this context the use of grain legumes such as cowpea, faba bean and pea could be of high interest. Some of the aspects of these grain legumes as far as their use as cover crops, their genetic diversity and their breeding using conventional and molecular approaches are discussed in the present review. The specific species seem to have a high potential for use as cover crops, especially if their noticeable genetic diversity is exploited and their breeding focuses on several desirable traits. View Full-Text
Keywords: cover crops; grain legumes; cowpea; faba bean; pea cover crops; grain legumes; cowpea; faba bean; pea
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Tani, E.; Abraham, E.; Chachalis, D.; Travlos, I. Molecular, Genetic and Agronomic Approaches to Utilizing Pulses as Cover Crops and Green Manure into Cropping Systems. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 1202.

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