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All rights reserved. In wild habitats, fruit dehiscence is a critical strategy for seed dispersal; however, in cultivated crops it is one of the major sources of yield loss. Therefore, indehiscence of fruits, pods, etc., was likely to be one of the first traits strongly selected in crop domestication. Even with the historical selection against dehiscence in early domesticates, it is a trait still targeted in many breeding programs, particularly in minor or underutilized crops. Here, we review dehiscence in pulse (grain legume) crops, which are of growing importance as a source of protein in human and livestock diets, and which have received less attention than cereal crops and the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. We specifically focus on the (i) history of indehiscence in domestication across legumes, (ii) structures and the mechanisms involved in shattering, (iii) the molecular pathways underlying this important trait, (iv) an overview of the extent of crop losses due to shattering, and the effects of environmental factors on shattering, and, (v) efforts to reduce shattering in crops. While our focus is mainly pulse crops, we also included comparisons to crucifers and cereals because there is extensive research on shattering in these taxa.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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