Analysis of Flavour and Molecular Diversity of Kenyan Lablab Bean (Lablab purpureus (L.) Sweet) Accessions

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Esther Nyambura Kimani
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Esther Nyambura Kimani
Lablab bean, Lablab purpureus L. Sweet (2n = 22) belongs to the family Fabaceae, that includes Medicago truncatula (barrel medic), Phaseolus vulgaris (common bean), Glycine max (soybean), Pisum sativum (garden pea) and Arachis hypogaea (peanut [groundnutD among others. It is among one of the ancient cultivated plants. It is a legume species that grows in the tropics and the subtropics of the world, and is presently grown through out the tropical regions of Asia and Africa. The bean is known by different names in different geographical areas (Table 1.1). In this study, the common name used is lablab, as it reflects the scientific name. To date, it remains a minor crop in most of these regions (Engle and Altoveris, 2000). The main lab lab producing areas in Kenya are Eastern (Meru), Central (Nyeri, Thika) and Coast (Lamu) provinces where it is grown either as a pure stand or as an intercrop especially with maize. The crop has also been introduced in other parts, such as Mwingi and Machakos. Lablab yield of 980kg/ha has been reported in a study testing the effect of improved legumes (Lelei et al., 2009). The species is cultivated either as a pure crop or intercropped with maize, finger millet, groundnut, castor, or sorghum in tropical regions.