The Legume Database ILDIS

I.Bowes I.Bowes at
Mon Dec 21 12:31:36 EST 1992

Dear All,
   Since we were mentioned by Brian Foley, I thought I'd post a little 
info on us, here at ILDIS in Southampton, U.K.

[LONG: 880 words]


                 F.A. Bisby,  S. Hollis
                   Biology Department,
               University of Southampton,
                SOUTHAMPTON SO9 3TU, U.K.

ILDIS is an international project to describe and catalogue
the world's legume species diversity in a readily accessible
form.  Research groups in many countries are participating
on a co-operative basis to pool information in a database.
This database is used to provide a worldwide species
diversity information service by publications, electronic
services and enquiry services.

The long term aims of the ILDIS project are to provide:

1.  a source of information for the development of all
useful legume crops and legume products, especially in the
arid zones and humid tropics;

2.  a focus for the study and conservation of legumes.

ILDIS is directed by an International Board of Trustees
elected by the participating centres. It is a not-for-profit
organisation registered as a charitable trust under English

ILDIS is committed to providing a flexible and easy to use
information service on Legumes to a wide range of
environmental, botanical, pharmaceutical, agricultural and
regulatory disciplines including plant exploitation,
biotechnology, biodiversity and conservation.

Electronic services will include distribution of the data
sets for in-house use (available from the Co-ordinating
Centre), on-line access (late 1992), and in the future,
distribution of the database with software on disc.

A variety of publications are planned, including regional
check-lists and compendia.  Check-lists have already been
published for Africa (1989) and West Asia (1991).  Two
compendia; "Legumes of the World" and "Phytochemical
Dictionary of the Leguminosae" are in preparation.

Reports tailored to users' specifications and factual
enquiries and searches are available through the Co-
ordinating Centre and regional contact points.


Phase 1 of the database comprises a synonymised species
check-list and the geographical distribution, common
knowledge data, and references to the bibliography for each
species. The data fields are listed below.  The data set is
being compiled on a regional basis and then co-ordinated for
taxonomic integrity by legume taxonomists using the ALICE
software. Work is now proceeding to provide data on legumes
from the remaining continents.  When complete, approximately
18000 species, one twelfth of the world's flowering plants
will be included.

The Phase 1 database contains the following information
which will be completed for each species, and in many cases
for each subspecies or botanical variety:

1.  Accepted name, authority and references
2.  Synonyms, authorities and references
3.  Legume tribe or subtribe membership

4.  a)  Occurrence by continent
    b)  Occurrence by country
    c)  Occurrence by area (certain countries only)
    d)  Status in each country and references

5.  Vernacular names with references (certain languages only)
6.  Vegetation type with reference
7.  Life form:         a)  whether annual and/or perennial
                       b)  whether herb,shrub or tree
                       c)  whether climbing or not
8.  Conservation status with references
9.  Economic importance and uses with references
10. Notes about the taxon
11. References to published descriptions
12. References to published illustrations
13. References to published distribution maps


>From the start of ILDIS in 1985, the Phase 1 species
reference system was intended to be the backbone of a Phase
2 species diversity information system which would include
data relevant to applied botany organised by species.  The
Phase 2 system will incorporate data "modules" on such
topics as phytochemical records for secondary substances,
germplasm and seed sources, nodulation, breeding and
biotechnology, cytology and plant uses.  The system will
function as a well-organised source of species diversity
data about legume species.

Phase 2 modules in preparation
PHYTOCHEMISTRY.  Comprehensive records of the substances,
the organs in which they are recorded and the species in
which they are found are being compiled as a joint project
involving Chapman & Hall Scientific Data Division (C & H)
and ILDIS.  The ILDIS Phase 1 database and the C & H
chemical database are used to link phytochemical records
occuring under several plant synonyms and records of the
same substance under alternative chemical names.  The module
is being used to create a hardcopy "Phytochemical Dictionary
of the Leguminosae"  published by C & H, and as part of the
electronic information services of ILDIS.  The data is held
in a linked dataset under the CHILDISC software.

Project Chairman: J.B. Harborne, University of Reading

Chapman & Hall Scientific Data Division, London;
J. Buckingham, I. Southon

ILDIS, Southampton; F.A. Bisby, R.J. White, I. Bowes

           Leucinine, an amino acid occurring
           in Mimosa pudica L. and
           Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) De Wit.

NODULATION.  So far records have been collated to show which
species are recorded as nodulating, not nodulating or both,
using the ILDIS Phase 1 database and ALICE software.

Project organiser: J.H. Kirkbride, USDA, Beltsville


We provide an information service on legumes and if anyone
wants to ask our help, they are welcome to do so. Any
comments or queries eMail this list or

s.hollis at,
j.a.tree at, or
i.bowes at (phytochemistry project)


Ian Bowes.

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