Jan 24, 2021

Legumes: The Hub of Diversification & Adaptation to Climate Change in Agriculture


“…diversification of crops with legumes and other practical measures must be scaled up to end hunger while meeting the challenge of climate change.”   UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

The global population will run out of food unless science can generate sufficient new crops that bear resilience to the current and increasing yield limitations of temperature extremes, water availability and salt tolerance and nutrient efficiency. In short, we need a third food revolution, to succeed the ‘industrial revolution’ and ‘green revolution’, which sustained the massive population growth since the 1920s to date.

Against these challenges, research on grain legumes has been neglected despite the wide genetic resources available that can meet future food, fodder, environmental and biofuel demands in the face of the global climate challenges.

In November 2015, a three-day meeting was held at Zhejiang University to:

  • Define the knowledge-gaps in capturing legume genetic diversity for sustainable food crops.
  • Define the state-of-the-art to address legume crop improvement towards 2050.
  • Identify champions who will lead grant proposals in Horizon 2020 and similar programs that will fund large scale collaborative programs.
  • Establish a program of short-term exchanges, particularly of early-career researchers, between laboratories in order to maximise technology and knowledge transfer.

View the Legumes 2020 program.

The meeting resulted in a policy document aimed at impacting global food security policy.

Watch a video of the Legumes 2020 meeting.

The research group are establishing ongoing activities.

Publication cited in the “top five” publications can be found here.

UNFAO International Year of Pulses.


Who's involved

Professor Jocelyn Ozga, University of Alberta

Professor Hon-Ming Lam, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Professor Christine Foyer, University of Leeds

Ms Louise Heery, University of Leeds

Mr James Cooper, University of Leeds

Professor Helen Bramley, University of Sydney

Dr Michael Considine, University of Western Australia

Professor Tim Colmer, University of Western Australia

Professor Kaddambot Siddiqui, University of Western Australia

Professor Trevor Mori, University of Western Australia

Professor Wallace Cowling, University of Western Australia

Associate Professor Judy Berman, University of Western Australia

Dr Jonathan M. Hodgson, University of Western Australia

Executive Vice-President Yonghua Song, Zhejiang University

Professor Mark Wahlqvist, Zhejiang Universty

Professor Jingquan Yu, Zhejiang University

Professor Yan Liang, Zhejiang University

Dr Henry T. Nguyen, University of Missouri

Rajeev K. Varshney, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)

Anthony J. Miller, John Innes Centre

Professor Karl Kunert, University of Pretoria

Dr Juan Vorster, University of Pretoria

Dr Christopher Cullis, Case Western Reserve University

Huixia Shou, Zhejiang University

Dr Nandor Fodor, University of Leeds

Associate Professor Brent N. Kaiser, University of Sydney

Research Associate Fuk-Ling Wong, Chinese University of Hong Kong

Dr Babu Valliyodan, University of Missouri