Pontevedra, Spain. 4-7 May 2015



foto2Because of the protein content of their seeds, grain legumes, cereals, pseudocereals  and  other minor crops, are attractive candidates for lowering the deficiency in plant  protein  production worldwide. However, despite their value, many of them are still  not adequately  assessed and many species are underutilized. Special attention has  to be paid to genetic  diversity of many species and its rational use for food,  including the protein allergies and  sensitivity, for feed and for agriculture and the  environment, as well as to the limiting  factors affecting yield, with water deficiency  and other abiotic and biotic stresses being  among the key factors, in order to obtain  more stable, reliable and sustainable crop  production through the genetic  improvement of varieties.



Pagina 1 4 Legumes, the main protein crops worldwide, contribute to the sustainable  improvement of the environment due to their ability of biological nitrogen fixation  and their effects on the soil and play a key role in the diversification and sustainable  intensification of agriculture, particularly in light of new and urgent challenges such  as climate change. In addition, the role of legumes in nutrition has been recognized  as a relevant source of plant protein, together with other benefits for health.  Soybean, peanut, common bean, pea, lupins, chickpea, faba bean, lentil grass pea,  cowpea, pigeon pea, etc. are currently the most important legumes for human  consumption and animal feed.



DSCN0825Amaranth and quinoa are considered “pseudocereals” and are also good sources of    proteins. Amaranth seeds contain lysine, an essential amino acid, limited in other  grains  or plant sources but are limited in some essential amino acids, such as  leucine and  threonine. Amaranth seed may be a promising source of protein to  those who are gluten  sensitive. Quinoa seed is appreciated for its nutritional value  with very high protein content  for a pseudocereal (14%) and its nutritional  evaluations indicate that it is a source of  complete protein. Although the main  nutrients in cereals are carbohydrates, in wheat, rice,  maize, oats, rye and other  cereals, 7-12 % is protein. Glutamine, proline and glycine are the  principal amino  acids forming cereal proteins, including albumins, globulins, glutenins  and  prolamins. Gluten sensitivity and albumins and prolamins allergies are aspects that  deserve special attention, and the proteomic approach could contribute to solve these  problems.

Other protein crops deserve also attention. Flax/linseed seeds contain high levels of dietary fibre as well as protein. Hemp has up to 33% of seed protein, with an amino acid profile close to “complete”. Caraway, also known as meridian fennel, is a biennial plant whose seeds are rich in protein and they include about 12 non-essential amino acids and nine essential ones.

This Symposium will be an opportunity for breeders and researchers to meet with agronomists, geneticists and dieticians, and discuss ways to improve production of protein crops.




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