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Drought Stress Tolerant Horse Gram for Sustainable Agriculture

  • Jyoti Bhardwaj
  • Sudesh Kumar YadavEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Sustainable Agriculture Reviews book series (SARV, volume 15)

Abstract

Sustainable development is successful development that can be maintained. In agriculture sustainable development is seen as the new paradigm of economic development. Around three billion people living in rural areas are dependent on agriculture as their main source of income. It is not easy to sustain agricultural development given the various kinds of ever changing environmental challenges like metal toxicity, drought, cold, and salinity stresses that crops have to face. Drought stress is one of the most devastating environmental stress severely affecting crop growth, development and yield. To withstand drought stress and sustain the agricultural productivity we need to identify and maintain the natural crop resources.

Horse gram (Macrotyloma uniflorum) is a highly drought tolerant yet underexploited tropical legume, commonly known as ‘kulthi’. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 1978 identified horse gram as potential food source for the future. Insurmountable drought tolerance and pest resistance together make it agriculturally an attractive crop. Besides normal cultivation in vitro regeneration of horse gram is an asset. Its high iron, low lipid, low sodium content and slow digestible starch make it a preferred choice for diabetic and obesity patients. Dark coloured seeds of horse gram in form of sprouts usually have higher antioxidant capacity as proven by various in vitro antioxidant assays. Seed extracts from horse gram contain isoflavones and glucopyranosides which show in vitro antilithic activity leading to reduced stone formation. When different processing techniques are used in combination they act synergistically reducing most of the antinutritional factors like polyphenols, lectins protease inhibitors in horse gram. However, some of the antinutrients have also been projected as health-promoting factors having anticancerous and antioxidant properties. Here we review the major points about horse gram: (1) morphology and physiology, (2) cultivation (3) composition, (4) medical implications, (5) antinutritional factors and their processing. To enhance horse gram’s utilization potential future research areas are highlighted. Also, an effort has been made to compile updated research activities conducted on horse gram from 1968 to 2013.

Keywords

Horse gram Nutrition Drought tolerance Antinutritional factors Medicinal importance Poor man’s pulse 

Abbreviations

UNWWDR

United Nations World Water Development Report

GDP

Gross Domestic Production

OECD

Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development

NAS

National Academy of Sciences

LOX

Linoleate: Oxygen Oxidoreductase

TNAU

TamilNadu Agricultural University

PER

Protein Efficiency Ratio

EC

Enzyme Commission

Kcal

Kilo Calorie

NaCl

Sodium Chloride

Na2CO3

Sodium Carbonate

EC50

Half Maximal Effective Concentration

IDDM

Insulin Dependent Diabetes Milletus

NIDDM

Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Milletus

ROS

Reactive Oxygen Species

DPPH

1,1-Diphenyl-2-Picryl-Hydrazyl

ABTS

2,2′-Azino-bis (3-Ethylbenz-thiazoline-6-sulfonic acid)

FRAP

Ferric Reducing Antioxidant Power

BBI

Bowman-Birk

HTST

High Temperature Short Time

EDTA

Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid

TIA

Trypsin Inhibitor Activity

Notes

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to the Director, CSIR-IHBT, for his continuous encouragement and guidance. JB is full of gratitude towards Dr. R. K. Chahota and Ms. Monika Mahajan for their timely help and suggestions. JB would like to acknowledge Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Govt. of India for providing Diamond Jubilee Research Internship and Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India for providing research funds under WSS (WOS-A; GAP-0133) project.

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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Plant Metabolic Engineering Laboratory, Biotechnology DivisionCSIR-Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology, Council of Scientific and Industrial ResearchPalampurIndia

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