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Crop Science Abstract - REVIEW & INTERPRETATION

Fenugreek, an Alternative Crop for Semiarid Regions of North America


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 48 No. 3, p. 841-853
    Received: Sept 19, 2007

    * Corresponding author(s): acharya@agr.gc.ca
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  1. S. N. Acharya *a,
  2. J. E. Thomasb and
  3. S. K. Basuab
  1. a Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge Research Centre, P.O. Box 3000, Lethbridge, AB, T1J 4B1, Canada
    b Dep. of Biological Sciences, Univ. of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, AB, T1K 3M4 Canada


Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.) is extensively used as a spice in India and the Mediterranean region and is known to possess a number of medicinal properties. Steroidal sapogenins and mucilaginous fibers present in the seed and leaves of this legume plant contribute to anti-diabetic and hypocholesterolaemic properties attributed to the plant. In recent years selected genotypes of this species have formed a niche crop that produces high yields of bloat-free forage that can increase both beef and milk production in semiarid regions of western Canada. Fenugreek genotypes tested in western Canada have demonstrated genetic variability for biomass production and nutraceutical properties indicating that there is much potential for enhancing the properties desired by agricultural and nutraceutical industries in this region. This paper reviews the history, culture and documented medicinal, agronomic and environmental value of fenugreek as well as discusses future potential of this crop for use in semiarid regions of North America.

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