The Lupin Family

All lupins belong to a single legume genus, Lupinus. There are an estimated 267 species of lupin1 distributed around the Mediterranean region (‘Old World’ lupins) and North & South America (‘New World’ lupins). Lupin species are particularly diverse in the Andes where they have among the highest speciation rates known for any plant species2.

Lupinus belongs to a class of legume known as Genistoids, which are believed to have diverged early in the evolution of Papilionoid legumes. This may explain why lupin genomes appear to be highly rearranged in comparison to other legume genomes3-6. This makes lupin genomes particularly interesting in legume genome evolution research.