Groundnuts belong to the subfamily Papilionoideae of the family Leguminosae, using the classification system of Polhill and Raven (1981). Most but not all of the Papilionoideae form nitrogen fixing nodules with soil organisms known generally as rhizobia (Faria et al. 1989). General characteristics of advanced papilionoid nodules are listed in Table 8.1. Variations on this theme are discussed elsewhere (Sprent, 1989; Sprent and Sprent, 1990) except for characters specific to Avachis which are considered in the next section.
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