Comparative Study of Indian Varieties of Lablab and Field Bean for Phenotypic and Nutritional Traits  

Alkari Sonali , Vishwakarma Manju , Kashikar Ashwin
Ankur Research Foundation, 27, New Cotton Market Layout Nagpur, Maharashtra, India
Author    Correspondence author
Legume Genomics and Genetics, 2015, Vol. 6, No. 3   doi: 10.5376/lgg.2015.06.0003
Received: 28 May, 2015    Accepted: 19 Jul., 2015    Published: 30 Jul., 2015
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This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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Alkari Sonali., Vishwakarma Manju and Kashikar Ashwin., 2015, Comparative Study of Indian Varieties of Lablab and Field Bean for Phenotypic and Nutritional Traits, Legume Genomics and Genetics, Vol.6, No.3, 1-7 (doi: 10.5376/lgg.2015.06.0003) 


Through varietal improvement, bushy and determinate and indeterminate Lablab bean (Lablab purpureus var. typicus Prain) and Field bean (Lablab purpureus var. lignosus Prain) varieties were developed in India. A comparative study among the improved cultivars for phenotypic and nutritional traits was attempted. The phenotypic traits selected for comparison are growth habit, earliness and yield. The nutritional traits studied include crude fiber, protein content, free amino acids, tryptophan, methionine and proline and the anti-nutritional traits include trypsin inhibitors, tannic acid and total phenols. The determinate bushy varieties are early, do not require any support for growth with desirable pod traits suitable for human consumption. There is variation in proximate principle content, nutritional parameters (free amino acids, methionine, tryptophan and proline) and anti-nutritional contents trypsin inhibitors, tannic acid and total phenol in different varieties of Lablab and Field beans. There is a great scope to develop varities of Labab bean having good balance between nutritional and anti-nutritional factors. Soaking, germination and cooking of beans hold a good promise for improving the nutritional value of lablab/ field beans by reducing the anti-nurtritional factors.

Free amino acids; Proline; Methionine; Tryptophan; Trypsin inhibitor; Nutritional and anti-nutritional factor

Adequate availability of nutritionus food will take care of different nutrition related health problems viz. protein-energy malnutrition (PEM), vitamin A deficiency, iodine deficiency disorders (IDD), nutritional anaemias- encompasses a range of starvation disorders and malnutrition scourges ‘marasmus’ and ‘kwashiorkor’ common in developing countries of Asia, Africa, South America, Latin America and the Near East. Of the world’s estimated 7,000 million people, 500 million still suffer from protein-energy malnutrition, over 1,600 million from iron deficiency and over 200 million from vitamin A insufficiency (WHO, 2009).

A revolution, similar to green revolution is the need of the hour for enhancing the production and productivity of pulses to eliminate protein malnutrition. A massive increase in vegetable protein supply in malnourished areas facilitates an easy, economical and more energy- efficient alternative than boosting the supply of animal protein. Grain legumes are an important source of protein and essential oils in the human diet for vegetarian population. Spurred by sustained growth in per capita income, increasing population and urbanization, the demand for grain legumes has been growing rapidly in the world. However, in the developing countries which are large consumers of grain legumes, production of grain legumes has been very modest and slow than the demand putting pressure on per capita availability. The slower growth of grain legumes production in developing countries in the past was due to food security policies of governments that directed agricultural research and extension towards e staple cereals rice and wheat (Parthasarathy Rao and von Oppen, 1987; Kumar et al., 2007).

Of the many known legume species, only few have been extensively promoted and used. Lablab bean is one of the lesser known legume crops of arid and semiarid regions and is classified by National Academy of science (NAS) as a potential source of protein that has not been explored yet. The name “Lablab” probably is an Arabic or Egyptian name describing the dull rattle sound of the seeds inside the dry pod. The field bean is an unexplored vegetable cum pulse crop widely distributed in many tropical and subtropical countries where it was naturalized. (Purseglove, 1968; Kay, 1979). Its world-wide distribution and popularity can be demonstrated by having more than 150 documented local vernacular names (MMPND). The importance of field bean as a food crop has been documented in archeo-botanical findings in India prior to 1,500 BC (Fuller, 2003). Presently, lablab bean is common in Africa, extending from Cameroon to Swaziland to Zimbabwe through Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania (Skerman et al., 1991). In South and Central America, East and West Indies, Asia, China and India, lablab bean is cultivated as an annual crop (Whyte et al., 1953). 
The wild forms of lablab bean are believed to have originated in India (Deka and Sarkar, 1990) and were introduced into Africa from south-east Asia during the eighth century (Kay, 1979). Lablab was synonymous with the genus Dolichos following Linnaeus and is now designated as the monotypic genus Lablab. Three subspecies are recognized in L. purpureus: i) ssp. uncinatus: the wild ancestor with small, scimitar shaped pods of about 40 mm x 15 mm; ii) ssp. purpureus:cultivated as a pulse crop, which has larger, scimitar-shaped pods, 100 mm x 40 mm and includes commercial varieties; and iii) ssp. bengalensis:Asiatic origin, has linear-oblong shaped pods, longer than other subspecies, up to 140 mm × (10~25) mm. Although pod shape has significant morphological differences, it is widely believed that ssp. bengalensis and ssp. purpureus are genetically very similar.
The cultivated species Lablab purpureosu var. typicus Prain and L. purpureus var. lignosus Prain were reported by Purseglove (1968) and Sivasankar et al., (1971) with the former as a vegetable type cultivated for its soft and edible pods and the later for dry seeds as a pulse. The filed bean pods are oblong, flat and broad, firm-walled and fibrous, contain 4-6 seeds with their long axis at right angles to the suture and seeds almost rounded, white, brown or black. The plant emits a characteristic oily odour and both varieties are cross compatible.
It is a multipurpose crop grown for pulse or vegetable for human consumption or as forage for animals (Murphy and Colucci, 1999; Hendricksen and Minson, 1985). In addition to its cultivation as a food and forage crop, lablab bean is often grown as a weed suppressor, as a cover crop to prevent soil erosion and also as a green manure crop (Cameron, 1988). Dolichos bean is a versatile crop able to be cultivated in a range of climates and soil types (Liu, 1996; Murphy and Colucci, 1999; Pengelly and Maass, 2001). 
In spite of these advantages, Lablab bean has not been extensively used and this crop is neglected by farmers as well as consumers for varied reasons such as its plant type i.e. viny nature which need support, long duration of crop, dwarf genotyypes having low yielding potential and presence of antinutritional factors etc.. Effort are being made to conduct research to extend both technical and practical knowledge about the bean so that its full potential may be tapped. Most of the research on improving lablab bean as a food crop is currently in Asia with limited work in Africa (Deka, 1990; Mahadev and Byragowda, 2005). At the Ankur Research foundation, Nagpur efforts are being made to improve the selected traits like growth habit, earliness, yield, nutritional and anti-nutritional traits.

1 Results
1.1 Varietal improvement 
Bushy determinate variety of Lablaab bean ‘Ankur Goldy’ is consumed as a vegetable) and Field bean ’Ankur-1732’ consumed as a pulse were developed by hybridization followed by pedigree selection. 
Determinate cultivars Ankur Goldy, Arka jay, Arka vijay and Konkan bhushan are improved cultivars with good pod traits have good acceptability by the farmers and consumers as they do not require any support for growth. Indeterminate varieties Dipali and Dasara are high yielding varieties although late but are potent forage cultivars. 
The productivity of the viny types is higher than that of the dwarf types. But Ankur Goldy has comparable productivity to that of viny types. The field bean variety Ankur 1732 is a high yielder and its productivity is higher as compared to HA-3. The phenotypic and economically important characters of Lablab purpureus varieties are given in Table 1

Table 1 Phenotypic and economically important characters of lablab and field bean varieties  

1.2 Status of Nutritional factors present:
In the pod, crude fiber varied from 13.8%~33.1% with the highest in indeterminate cultivar Dasara and lowest in Dipali also an indeterminate variety. While the highest % protein is reported in determinate cultivar Ankur Goldy (27.5%), the lowest in determinate early cultivar Arka vijay (17.7%). The range for free amino acid content varied from is 0.2~0.5 mg/100 g of protein. The highest Methionine content was present in Arka Vijay and Ankur 1732 and the lowest is in Ankur Goldy. With regards to tryptophan, while the highest content is in HA-3, the lowest is reported in Konkan bhuahan. Stress related proline content is highest in Ankur Goldy and e the lowest in Ankur-1732. In leaves, while the % crude fiber ranged between 14.8% (Arka Vijay) and 31.4 % (Dipali), the % crude protein ranged between 17.4 (Ankur 1732) and 23.8 Ankur goldy (Table 2; Table 4)

 Table 2 Nutritional profile of pods of lablab and field bean varieties 

1.3 Status of Antinurtional factors present:
The indeterminate types possesses higher contents of antinutritional factors compared to the determinate ones. While lowest Trypsin inhibitior unit (per g of sample) was recorded in Arka Jay, the highest content of 8.2 in Dasara.With regards to Tannic acid, HA-3 has highest (8.2 mg/100 g) and Ankur 1732 has the lowest (2.6 mg/100 g) content. High Total phenolic contents were found in Deepali (10.5 mg/100 g) and the lowest in HA-3 (5.2 mg/100 g) (Table 3).

Table 3 Status of anti-nutritional factors in pods of lablab and field bean varieties  
With regards to antinurtional factors, Arka Jay which is a Dolichos bean variety is safer with low values when compared to HA-3 which is a Field bean variety having higher values (Table 4).

Table 4 Status of nutritional and anti-nutritional factors in leaves of lablab and field bean varieties  

2 Discussion
2.1 Varietal improvement
Lablab and field bean are potential legume crops of great importance as food sources of high energy and good protein quality. A sustainable way of improving the feeding value of poor quality crop residues and pastures, is through supplementation with forage legumes. Indian varieties ‘Dipali’ and ‘Dasara’ can be compared with popular Australian forage cultivars “Rongai; a late maturing vigorously twinning (Evans, 2002) one and 'Highworth”, originated from India and morphologically similar to ‘Rongai', 'Koala' and 'Endurance'. The dwarf bushy types have the comparative yield to that of Indeterminate/ viny types as there is increase in per acre plant population. (Byregowda, 2011; Rajput et al., 1991; Rajput et al., 1994). Earliness in flowering and fruiting permits cultivation of this crop all round the year offering higher economic gains to farmers. 

2.2 Status of nutritional factors present
In the present study proximate analysis was done to know approximate composition of biological matter and nutritional evaluation of the varieties under study. The World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines (1990) suggest proximate analysis for quality control and identification of raw material which includes contents of moisture, dry matter and crude fiber. The average 28% crude fiber in dry matter of lablab bean, is a challenge for growing as a forage crop in the tropical environment, as high temperature decreases the soluble carbohydrate content in the plants resulting in increased fiber content and decreased digestibility (Norton and Poppi, 1995). Legumes are reported to contain higher content of lignin than grasses and the crude fiber content of legumes generally increases with maturity (Minson, 1990) with the stem reported to have the highest fiber level as compare to leaf and the pod containing the lowest crude fiber. The minimal requirements for growth and lactation of diary animals can easily be fulfilled by lablab bean with a mean crude protein content of 17%. Amino acids in Free form do not require any digestion and small amounts can easily and quickly reach our bloodstream allowing them to be used immediately by muscles and tissues. 
Tryptophan, an essential amino acid, is a derivative of alanine, having an indole substituent on the β carbon. It is necessary for normal growth in infants and for nitrogen balance in adults. It is a precursor of indole alkaloids in plants and is useful as an antidepressant and also as a sleep aid as it is a precursor of serotonin. Methionine is the only sulfur containing amino acid that is essential for mammals and must therefore be derived entirely from the diet. Dolichos beans are well adapted to a wide range of climates and environmental conditions and known to show drought tolerance may be because of proline accumulation which is a common metabolic response of higher plants to water deficits and salinity stress. Proline protects membranes and proteins against the adverse effects of high concentrations of inorganic ions and temperature extremes (Stewart and Larher, 1980; Thompson, 1980; Stewart, 1981; Hanson and Hitz, 1982; Rhodes, 1987; Delauney and Verma, 1993; Samaras et al., 1995; Taylor, 1996; Rhodes et al., 1999).
2.3 Status of Anti-nurtional factors present:
The anti-nutritional factors (ANFs) are defined as those substances that are generated in natural food stuffs by normal metabolism of species and by different mechanisms such as inactivation of some nutrients, diminutrition of the digestive process or metabolic utilization of the feed, which exert effect contrary to optimum nutrition. Untreated Field bean has been reported to possess high levels of anti-nutritional factors such as trypsin inhibitors (Deka, 1990; Devaraj, 1995), tannins (Deka, 1990; Shastry, 1991) and phytic acid (Deka, 1990; Al-othman, 1990). The utility of dolichos bean is often limited by the presence of ANFs protein inhibitors, phenolic compounds and tannins. Consumption of raw legumes lead to nausea, vomiting and Diarrhea. As per investigations, Indian beans had the highest trypsin inhibitor activity ranging from 14 to 27 units/ mg sample (Laurena et al., 1994). Trypsin inhibitor is a type of serine protease inhibition that reduces the biological activity of trypsin. The phenols occur in esterified form with cell wall components in plants and tannins are the polyphenolic compounds. Phenolic compounds and tannic acid contents are considered as an anti-nutritional factor as they lower digestibility and reduction of food consummation. 
A number of anti-nutrients possesses beneficial properties. The phenols have been related to several biological activities (antiviral, antioxidant, diuretic, anti-rheumatic and others) (Grassmann et al., 2002). On the other hand, tannins are used against diarrhoea, as antiseptics, vasoconstrictors, antimicrobial and antifungal due to their astringent activity (Gutiérrez et al., 2008; Falleh et al., 2008; Brandelli et al., 2009). Phenols and polyphenols exert their protective effects through diverse mechanism such as blocking, interfering or suppressing the activities of enzymes involved in reactive oxygen species generation, quenching free radicals, chelating transition metals to render inactive species (Wong, 2006). They mainly act as herbivore deterrents due to their acid taste and the property of precipitating proteins. From an agricultural view-point, they are useful in imparting protection from bioticstre-sses. Phenolic compounds i.e total phenol content and tannic acid have received considerable attention owing to their association with passive and active defense responses to diseases. Phenols are important in disease resistance reaction and are easily oxidized by phenol oxidases and resulting quinines are highly reactive and toxic to pathogens and their enzymes. 
In order to utilize bean effectively as human food it is essential to inactivate or remove anti-nutritional factors. The traditional methods like soaking, cooking, roasting, autoclaving and germination are effective in reducing the anti-nutritional factors in Field bean (Myrene, 2013). Soaking, sprouting and cooking of pre-soaked beans hold a good potential for improving the nutritional value of lablab bean by reducing anti-nurtritional factors. Generally adequate heat processing inactivates the trypsin (Diptero and Liener 1989; Osman 2002), and tannin can be easily removed through sprouting (Reddy et al., 1985) and fermentation (Osman, 2004). 
Through breeding, we can manipulate these compounds in optimum ratios while cultivation ensuring the quality of harvested produce balancing maintenance of adverse and beneficial compounds.

3 Conclusion
Determinate bushy cultivar Ankur Goldy, Arka Jay, Arka Vijay and Konkan Bushan being early maturing are suitable for human consumption and, also can thrive in frost prone areas. Ankur Goldy has good balance of nutritional and anti-nutritional factors in leaves as well as in pods and can be used both for vegetable as well as for forage purposes. Cultivars ‘Rongai’, 'High worth', 'Koala' and 'Endurance' are very popular in Australia for forage and on similar lines, Indain varities Dipali and Dasara which are indeterminate and perennial with high biomass are suitable for green manure, erosion control and as pastures in dry season for cattle grazing. Varieties Ankur 1732 and HA-3 are useful for green and dry seed consumption and for forage requirements as well. There is a great scope to develop varities in Labab and field bean having a good balance between nutritional and antinutritional factors. There must be a reconsideration of anti-nutritional factors total phenols and tannic acid as antioxidants as they play a vital role in imparting disease and insect pest resistance. 

4 Materials and Methods
4.1 Materials
While the six Lablab bean (Lablab purpureus var. typicus Prain) varieties, Arka Jay and Arka Vijay were procured from IIHR Banglore, Konkan Bhushan from Konkan Krushi Vidaypeeth Dapoli, Deeplai and Daseera from Punjab Rao Krushi Vidaypeeth, Akola and Ankur Goldy from Ankur Foundation, the Filed bean (Lablab purpureus var lignosus) varieties Ha-3 was augmented from GKVK, Banglore and Ankur-1732 from the Ankur Foundation for this study. A comparative study was done among the varieties for phenotypic, economic and nutritional traits. 

4.2 Breeding Method 
The beeding method followed was hybridization followed by selfing and selection by pedigree method.

4.3 Nutritional and Antinutritional Studies
4.3.1 Nutritional studies
Includes, dry matter content, moisture content, and crude protein which were estimated as per standard methods (AOAC, 1990). While, estimation of crude fiber was done by Sadasivam and Manickam (1992) method, the total free amino acids was by Moore and Stein (1948). methionine by Horn and Jones (1948), tryptophan by Mertz et al., (1975) and the estimation of proline was done as per the method suggested by Bates et al., (1973).

4.3.2 Determination of anti-nutritional Factors 
The total phenolic content was estimated by slight modification of the method of Bray and Thorpe (1954), Trypsin inhibitor activity using BAPA N-benzyol-DL-arginiine-P-nitroaniliide hydrochloride and tryspsin III from bovine pancreas by Kakade et al., (1969) and the estimation of Tannins was done as per the method suggested by Sadasivam and Manickam (1992). 

Prof. (Mrs.) Shastri, Laxmi Naryan Institute of Technology, Nagpur for her help in analyzing nutritional and antinutritional factors in Lablab bean cultivars.

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