Reaching for the pulse of the planet and its population

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Seeds provide humans and farm animals with a rich supply of dietary proteins, fibre, carbohydrates and micronutrients. Natural variation, mutagenesis and advances in genetics and genomics support the development of plant variants which provide better nutrient bioavailability, promote health in consumers and provide advantages to industry. As we consider the adoption of more healthy and sustainable plant-based diets, there is a renewed focus on legume crops which also provide benefits as an essential component of a sustainable agriculture. This article discusses significant compounds that are deposited in the seeds of a major legume crop, pea (Pisum sativum), and the possibilities for changing these using genetic variation.