Contents of total protein, L-canavanine and condensed tannins of the one-flowered vetch (Vicia articulata Hornem.) collection of the Bank of Plant Germplasm of Cuenca (Spain)

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A total of 125 accessions of one-flowered vetch (Vicia articulata Hornem.) mostly from the Iberian Peninsula have been analysed for total protein, L-canavanine and condensed tannins. It was observed a high variability in the composition: the protein content ranged from 18.20 to 30.07%, L-canavanine from 0.27 to 0.67%, and condensed tannins from 0.13 to 0.35%, which indicates a scarce domestication of the crop. The inclusion of the seeds into a diet to non-ruminants should be limited to marginal percentages because of the contents of L-canavanine and it suggests that a reduction of this compound by breeding should be encouraged. The protein and the L-canavanine contents showed a low and positive significant correlation (r = 0.55, P < 0.001), which complicates the selection of seeds having simultaneously low L-canavanine and high protein contents. On the other hand, no correlation between protein and condensed tannins or between L-canavanine and condensed tannins was observed. There was a poor relationship between the origin and the composition of the accessions and only the protein content was able to discriminate among the regions.

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