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It is likely that the selection of soybean landraces for good vegetable qualities has occurred gradually over centuries. In the middle of Edo period (1603-1868), farmers' wives began marketing boiled vegetable soybean pods attached to the stem in the streets of Edo (early Tokyo) (Lumpkin and Konovsky, 1991). Fresh vegetable soybeans with pods attached to the stem are sold even today; they are very popular and preferred over frozen pods. The increasing demand for vegetable soybean catalysed research to develop improved varieties for the discriminating consumer. In Taiwan, a Japanese cultivar called 'Jikkoku' ('Shih Shih' in Taiwan) was released in 1957 and cultivated as a dual-purpose soybean until the early 1970s (Shanmugasun-daram, 1979). In Taiwan, vegetable soybeans are usually shelled and marketed as fresh green beans (Chen et al., 1991). The early research on chemical composition, especially the protein, starch and sugar content and isozyme variations, laid the foundation for breeders to develop good-quality vegetable soybean for consumers (Lumpkin and Konovsky, 1991).

As early as 1930, an agricultural experiment station in Kungchuling, China, developed cultivars for special purposes, including vegetable soybeans. Most of the cultivars in China are either landraces or varieties selected by public research institutions for vegetable purposes. The main objectives in selection were large seed size, good taste and eating quality as a vegetable. Some of the older cultivars were 'Wuyuewu', 'Wuyueba' (US maturity group [MG] I and II), 'Baishulou', 'Liuyueba' and 'Baimaoliuyuewang' (MG III and IV) and 'Jiangyoudou' and 'Deqingdou' (MG V and VI). 'Baishulou', 'Baim-aoliuyuewang', 'Jiangyoudou' and 'Deqingdou' were reported to be superior in quality to newer cultivars (Konovsky et al., 1994). Formal breeding of vegetable soybean in China began in 1990, directed towards the international market, especially Japan. Cultivars 'Xinliuqiong', 'Zoudou 30', 'Jiaoxuan 1' and 'Jiaoxuan 2' were developed, but their quality could not meet international standards (Wu, 2004). In Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces, popular lan-draces were 'Shanghai Liuyuebai', 'Wuyueba' and 'Suzhouwuyuehuang'; popular summer vegetable soybean landraces were 'Lanzi Daqingdou', 'Niutabian' and 'Zhejiang Bayueba' (Wu, 2004). Recent cultivars that have been developed and released in China are listed in Table 19.3.

In 1915, PI 34702, an introduction from Shantung province in China, was found to be good for shelled green beans in California. In 1929, Morse coined the term 'vegetable soybean' and tried to introduce a large number of vegetable soybean cultivars from Japan and China (Shurtleff, 2001). From 1929 to 1931, Dorsett and Morse collected germplasm to develop 49 edamame cultivars (Hymowitz, 1984). Due to protein shortages during the 1930s and 1940s, research on vegetable soybean continued (Smith and Van Duyne, 1951). With the initiative of Rodale in organic agriculture in the 1970s, interest in vegetable soybean was revived in the USA (Hass et al., 1982). Twenty-two breeders from 17 North American locations, including eight north-central states, four southeastern states, Washington and Canada, conduct research on specialty soybeans. Interest in vegetable soybeans has increased in the

Table 19.3. New vegetable soybean cultivars released from different institutions in China.

Cultivar name

Releasing institution

Reference

Chuxiu

Huaiyin Agricultural Science Institute,

Jianfeng and Zhengwen (2002)

Zhejiang

Xiangchun 18

Crop Research Institute, Hunan

Jianfeng and Zhengwen (2002)

Xinliuqing and

Agricultural Science Institute, Anhui

Dai et al. (2001)

Andou 3

Liaoxuan 1

Liaoning Academy of Agricultural

Wu (2004)

Sciences, Liaoning

Jiaoxuan 1 and 2

Jiaotong University, Shanghai

Wu (2004)

Qingdali 1 and 2

Fujian Academy of Agricultural

Xu et al. (1999)

Sciences, Fujian

Shennong 951

Shanghai Academy of Agricultural

Zhihao et al. (2000)

Sciences, Shanghai

Tezao 1

University of Anhui, Anhui

Zhihao et al. (2000)

Huijia 2

Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural

Xin et al. (1997)

Sciences, Jiangsu

Ningshu 60

Nanjing Vegetable Institute, Nanjing

Wu (2004)

Taiwan 75

Introduced from Taiwan

Wu (2004)

USA as consumers become more health conscious and commercial growers seek new market niches. Breeders seek to produce large-seeded cultivars. Because grain soybeans from the USA are only 10-12 g 100-1 seeds, a seed size of 20-25 g 100-1 seeds is considered large. Pod colour, seed colour and taste have not been given that much attention in the development of culti-vars. Until 1949, a total of 49 vegetable soybean cultivars were introduced or developed (two were released prior to 1920, 30 in the 1930s and five in the 1940s); they are maintained in the USDA germplasm collection. Among them, 'Banes' and 'Jorgen' are still marketed for home gardeners. In the1940s, 38 farmers grew 17 cultivars on 4000 ha. 'Bansei' was the most popular, followed by 'Etum'. The other popular cultivars were 'Aoda', 'Easycook', 'Funk Delicious', 'Giant Green', 'Hokkaido', 'Jogun', 'Rokusun', 'Sac', 'Chusei', 'Higan', 'Imperial', 'Kanro', 'Mendota', 'Sanga' and 'Sousei' (Bernard, 2001). Bernard (2001) stated 'The main overall breeding objective for the American Edamame breeder is to combine the desirable yield and plant traits of our commercial grain types with the desirable seed traits of the East Asian Edamame types.' US breeders consider 20 g 100-1 seeds as a minimum, 25 g 100-1 seeds more desirable and 30 g 100-1 seeds a long-range goal. Several genes appear to govern large seed size; therefore, to recover large seed size, it is necessary to back-cross to the large-seeded parent. Desirable genes for vegetable soybeans include t, the gene for grey pubescence and w, the gene for white flower colour, which also eliminates the undesirable anthocyanin pigment from green pods. The stay-green seed coat and seed embryo genes G1 and G2 are present in some North American and Asian vegetable soybeans (Bernard, 2001). From 1950 to 1990, 20 vegetable soybean cultivars were released in the USA (see Bernard, 2001 for the list).

Martin Weiss and Robert Weber started breeding for the large-seeded food-type soybean in Iowa; the programme was continued under the direction of Walter Fehr. From 1991 to 2000 Iowa, along with the Puerto Rico Agricultural Experiment Station, developed 41 cultivars with large seeds, high protein or null lipoxygenase (Bernard, 2001). From 1990 to 2001 several institutions in the USA and Canada released 19 large-seeded cultivars, but only the following seven have a seed size of >25 g 100-1 seeds: 'AC Onrei' (Canada), 'Gardensoy 11, 21, 31, 41' (Illinois), 'Satum' (Nebraska),and 'Ohio FG 2' (Ohio). The Gardensoy cultivars have a range of US MGs from I to IV and, therefore, can be harvested early to late over a month-long period. However, the cultivar 'BeSweet 292' from the Rupp Seed Company is relatively insensitive to photoperiod (it is duration-bound rather than season-bound) and can therefore be planted at staggered intervals to prolong the harvesting period.

Shattering is a problem in producing the seed of vegetable soybean; the transfer of non-shattering qualities from the grain soybean parent is another breeding objective. Bernard (2001) also identified 'shellability' - the ability to easily remove cooked seeds from the pod - as yet another breeding objective. From 1999 to 2002 a private seed company in Molokai Island, Hawaii, evaluated the breeding lines from the AVRDC and released 12 cultivars adapted to Molokai, South Carolina and Ohio. Mimura et al. (2007) identified 17 single sequence repeats (SSRs) and detected polymorphisms to differentiate 99 of the 130 vegetable soybean accessions from Japan and other countries. The study concluded that the Japanese vegetable soybean has a narrow genetic base and SSRs can describe the patterns of diversity for MG and test colour among vegetable soybeans.

The results of a four-year study conducted in Georgia, USA, to evaluate the yield potential of 10 Japanese cultivars/introductions, two Chinese cultivars and two US cultivars revealed that most of the Japanese cultivars/ introductions produced green pod and green seed yield of >20 t ha-1 and 10 t ha-1, respectively. The yields were extrapolated from a sample area of 0.38 m2 (Rao et al, 2002a, 2002b). The authors concluded that 'PI 181565', 'Tanbaguro', 'Wan Guingsi' and 'PI 200506' have potential for use in Georgia (Rao et al., 2002a,b). Between 2001 and 2008, Virginia released 'Asmara', 'Randolph', (both US MG VI) and 'Owens' (MG V) cultivars (Mebrahtu et al., 2005a,b, 2007). Devine et al. (2006) released an indeterminate vegetable soybean cultivar, 'Moon Cake', in 2003. 'Moon Cake' is good for home gardeners and can also be a good forage crop.

In Japan, various vegetable soybean cultivars can be broadly grouped into summer types ('Okuhara', 'Sapporo-midori', 'Osedefuri', 'Shiroge', 'Fukura', 'Mikawashima' and 'Yukimusume') and fall/autumn types ('Kin-shu', 'Tzurunoko' and 'Yuzuru'). All have white flowers with the exception of 'Okuhara', 'Osedefuri' and 'Shiroge'. 'Fukura' is known for its sweetness, 'Kinshu' has dark pods, 'Yukimusume' has good pod colour, 'Mikawashima' has more three-seeded pods, 'Osedefuri' has good flavour and 'Tzurunoko' has large seeds (Konovsky et al., 1994). Japan has laid the foundation for the quality requirements of vegetable soybean. Japan's discriminating and quality-conscious consumers demand and define the breeding objectives for vegetable soybean. A pleasant green pod colour with a clean appearance is the primary requirement, followed by grey pubescence. The length and width of the pod should be >5.0 and >1.4 cm, respectively. A 500 g plant should have <175 pods. The weight of 100 fresh green beans should be >70 g. The taste should be sweet with a sugar content of >10%. A bitter or astringent taste is undesirable. There should be no blemished, damaged or malformed pods (<1%). They should have a nice flavour and be easy to blanch or cook. The number of seeds per pod should be >2. The seed weight (dry weight basis) should be >30 g 100-1 seeds. Private and public vegetable soybean breeders in Japan and Taiwan and at the AVRDC have the above breeding objectives for developing improved vegetable soybean cultivars. In Japan, private seed companies conduct most of the applied vegetable soybean research and cultivar development, while the public sector undertakes some of the basic research on quality improvement. Lumpkin and Konovsky (1991) reviewed in detail the Japanese vegetable soybean cultivars.

From the screening of the USDA germplasm collection during 1960 in Taiwan, 13 large-seeded soybeans were selected; among them, 'PI 153210' and 'PI 179823' were considered as the best for vegetable soybean (Shanmugasundaram, 1979). 'Tzurunoko' and 'Ryokkoh' are the two vegetable soybean cultivars introduced from Japan for production in Taiwan and export of frozen pods to Japan.

The AVRDC began its vegetable soybean research in 1976. In 1981, the AVRDC joined with KDARES in breeding vegetable soybean for export to Japan. In 1985, the Council of Agriculture and the Provincial Department of Agriculture and Forestry provided financial support for vegetable soybean improvement. From 1980 to 1983, 51 vegetable soybean cultivars from 10 Japanese seed companies were screened and compared with 'Tzurunoko' and 'Ryokkoh'. Cultivars 'Tancho', 'Ryokukou', 'Nakate kaori' and a pure line selection from 'Taisho Shiroge' were selected and further evaluated. In spring, summer and autumn trials, AVRDC Glycine Selection (AGS) 292 (a pure line selection from 'Taisho Shiroge') gave a higher yield (7.7 t ha-1) than 'Tzurunoko' (6.9 t ha-1) and 'Ryokkoh' (6.0 t ha-1). In 1987, KDARES released AGS 292 as the first vegetable soybean cultivar 'Kaohsiung No. 1' (KS No. 1). Farmers, processors and trading companies from Japan readily accepted KS No. 1. In 1990, KS No. 1 occupied 84% of the total vegetable soybean area in Taiwan (Chen et al., 1991). The AVRDC collaborated with the Tainan District Agricultural Research and Extension Station and released additional improved cultivars (Table 19.4). AGS 292 is relatively less sensitive to photoperiod and temperature (Roberts et al., 1996) and has been crossed with large-seeded cultivars such as 'Tanbaguro', 'Ryokkoh', 'Niuta-bian' (also spelled as Neu Ta Pien), 'Mikawashima', 'Blue Side', 'Setuzu' and 'Yukinoshita'. The AVRDC has developed a large number of improved pure line selections and distributed them worldwide to interested coopera-tors for evaluation. A total of 38 vegetable soybean cultivars from 15 countries have been released using AVRDC selections (Table 19.4).

As shown in Table 19.4, AGS 292 has been released and cultivated in seven countries around the world, indicating its wide adaptation. It has a large seed size, a large number of pods with two or more seeds, good pod

Table 19.4. Vegetable soybean cultivars released by AVRDC cooperators in different countries until 2008 (updated from Shanmugasundaram, 2001b; reprinted with permission from AVRDC).

Sr. no.

Local name

AVRDC ID no.

Year

Country

Remarks

1

AGATAa

GC 84126-13-1-2

2000

Argentina

2

GC 83005-9

GC 83005-9

1995

Bangladesh

HY, suitable for homestead cultivation

3

AGS 292

AGS 292

1990

China

-

4

AGS 337

AGS 337

1996

India

Pan and Rai, 1996

5

Swarna Vasundhara

GC 89009-1-1-2

2008

India

AVRDC, 2008

6

MKS 1

AGS 190

1995

Malaysia

HY

7

VSS 1

AGS 292

1999

Mauritius

-

8

VSS 2

AGS 339

1999

Mauritius

-

9

Rawal-1

AGS 190

1994

Pakistan

HY

10

PSB-VS 1

AGS 191

1997

Philippines

HY

11

PSB-VS 2

AGS 190

1997

Philippines

HY

12

PSB-VS 3

AGS 186

1997

Philippines

HY

13

AGS 190

AGS 190

1992

Sri Lanka

HY, suitable for soy milk, ice cream and soy nuts, less beany flavour

14

AGS 292

AGS 292

2002

Sudan

-

15

Kaohsiung No. 1

AGS 292

1987

Taiwan

HY, MH, DM, EM

16

Kaohsiung No. 2

Ryokkoh x KS 8

1991

Taiwan

HY, MH

17

Kaohsiung No. 3

PI 157424x KS 8

1991

Taiwan

HY, MH

18

Kaohsiung No. 6a

AGS 292 x Nakadei Kaori

2001

Taiwan

-

19

Kaohsiung No. 7a

AGS 292 x Tanbaguro

2001

Taiwan

-

20

Tainan-ASVEG 2

GC 94016-10-1

2005

Taiwan

HY

21

KPS 292

AGS 292

1992

Thailand

HY

22

CM 1

AGS 190

1995

Thailand

HY, suitable for domestic consumption

23

VRQ 46

AGS 346

1999

Vietnam

EM (65—85 days), HY (11—14 t ha-1), 3 crops year-1

24

Mana

AGS 292

1999

Hawaii, USA

25

Makani

AGS 334

1999

Hawaii, USA

(Continued)

4 Ui

Table 19.4. continued

Sr. no.

Local name

AVRDC ID no.

Year

Country

Remarks

26

Momona

AGS 337

1999

Hawaii, USA

_

27

Nui

AGS 346

1999

Hawaii, USA

-

28

Buker's Favorite

AGS 292

1995

USA

Oregon and Washington

29

BeSweet 292

AGS 292

2GG2

Ohio, USA

Rupp Seed Co.

3G

Koapaka

GC 97GG2 F3

2GG2

Hawaii, USA

HY, adaptation MKK, Ohio

31

Hiluhilu

GC 97G22 F3

2GG2

Hawaii, USA

HY, adaptation MKK, Ohio, SC

32

Kanaloa

GC 97GG2 F3

2GG2

Hawaii, USA

HY, adaptation Ohio

33

Kila

GC 97G22 F3

2GG2

Hawaii, USA

HY, adaptation SC

34

Onaona

GC 97GG2 F3

2GG2

Hawaii, USA

HY, adaptation SC

35

Mimiki

GC 97G22 F3

2GG2

Hawaii, USA

HY, adaptation SC

36

Palanehu

GC 97GG2 F3

2GG2

Hawaii, USA

HY, adaptation MKK

37

Akua

GC 97G29 F3

2GG2

Hawaii, USA

HY, adaptation MKK

38

Edamame 1

AGS 292

2GG6

Zimbabwe

Marketing started in 2007 by SeedCo

(Zimbabwe and Malawi)

Total

38

15

DM, resistant to downy mildew; EM, early maturing; HY, high yielding; aCross between AVRDC line and another cultivar.

MH, suitable for mechanical harvesting; MKK, Molokai, Hawaii; SC, South Carolina, USA.

DM, resistant to downy mildew; EM, early maturing; HY, high yielding; aCross between AVRDC line and another cultivar.

MH, suitable for mechanical harvesting; MKK, Molokai, Hawaii; SC, South Carolina, USA.

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