Development of iron and zinc enriched mungbean (Vigna radiata L.) cultivars with agronomic traits in consideration

R. Singh

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


Malnutrition in India, particularly among women, children and adolescents is an emergency that needs immediate attention in this fast growing and developing country. Micronutrient deficiencies are threatening public health in India more and more. Deficiencies of micronutrients drastically affect growth, metabolism and reproductive phase in humans as it does in plants and animals. Cereal and pulse based Indian diets are qualitatively deficient in micronutrients such as iron, calcium, vitamin A and zinc. This is due to a low intake of income-elastic protective foods such as pulses, vegetables, fruits, and foods of animal origin. It is presumed that if we restore the geographical connection between food production and consumption in local food networks it will help in solving this nutritional problem in India. This offers new opportunities to tailor science & technology to location specific patterns of food production and consumption, which may lead to environmentally and socially sustainable agriculture. Despite global pressure (including from science and technology) to focus agricultural cultivation on a limited number of food crops, still many so-called orphan crops like mungbean do exist and are cultivated in location-specific crop rotation systems. Particularly, the seed legumes are of major nutritional importance, especially in developing countries, because they have high protein contents of good biological value. Out of the total sales of mungbean, about half of the sales are within the village which clearly establishes the need for development of infrastructure and facilities at the village level to serve the interests of the farm households. Moreover, it is also necessary to shift the focus of development from the urban market centres (largely developed) to the rural market centres. Linking breeding, nutrition, processing and standardisation of food products, may be designed within the experimental framework of empowering poor farmers. Hence, tailoring plant, food and social sciences to empower local mungbean production and consumption patterns has been designed as an interdisciplinary program of plant breeding, food technology, human nutrition and sociology of science and technology. Thus the ‘Tailoring Food Sciences to Endogenous Patterns of Local Food Supply for Future Nutrition’ (TELFUN) project aimed to help people in selecting their own way of local food production, processing and consumption of the best suited local food. The main objective is to strengthen “The Science in Society” approach by remodeling participatory research and development and the general aim of TELFUN was to attune disciplinary research objectives within an interdisciplinary framework to enhance food sovereignty and to improve mungbean based production and consumption pattern in selected research area (Haryana, India). As an example our research focused on further improving one of the potential nutritional crops, namely mungbean. The present work emphasizes on mungbean in general and especially on the available micronutrient variation in the mungbean germplasm. The mungbean (green gram), Vigna radiata (L.) Wilczek is native to the Indian subcontinent. They are warm season annuals, highly branched and having trifoliate leaves like the other legumes. Seeds of mungbean are small, ovoid in shape, and green in color. Mungbean seeds are high in protein (21%–28%), calcium, phosphorus and certain vitamins. Moreover they are easily digested and they replace scarce animal protein in human diets in vegetarian populations of the world. The selected area of research centres contain a high level of local biodiversity and are the locations for domestication of mungbean. This legume has co-evolved with their natural ecosystems and is well-adapted to withstand the local biotic and abiotic stresses. This will help in enabling the reconnection of the cultivation of the mungbean with their natural environments. Moreover, as domestication has taken place by local farmers during many centuries, they have accumulated local endogenous knowledge, which is very relevant for local food networks ( Thus to explore the potential mungbean network, the present thesis set its objectives. They were: i) identification of the major constraints, limitations and preferences of producer’s with regard to mungbean, ii) assessing the diversity in the available germplasm and assessing the effects of different environments on selected cultivars for their mineral micronutrients and iii) to make a start to develop tools for marker assisted breeding with regard to iron and zinc.

Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • Visser, Richard, Promotor
  • van Heusden, Sjaak, Co-promotor
Award date30 Sep 2013
Place of PublicationS.l.
Print ISBNs9789461736840
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • vigna radiata
  • green gram
  • mung beans
  • trace elements
  • iron
  • zinc
  • plant breeding
  • genetic diversity
  • nutrition
  • india
  • food sovereignty


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