In memory of Aleksandar Mikić

Aleksandar Mikic, the legume (re)searcher A sad announcement: on the morning of September 6th 2021, our beloved Slavic friend and colleague Aleksandar Mikič passed away.

Aleksandar made an outstanding contribution to the International Legume Society. He was one of the founding members of ILS, which he strongly supported in various ways during its development from the ashes of AEP – including the creation of the Society logo. He offered to host the first ILS conference in Novi Sad in 2013 and shaped nearly each aspect of it, from the conference name (2013: A Legume Odyssey) to the conference logo, bags and gadgets. Most importantly, when ILS created its magazine, Legume Perspectives, Aleksandar voluntarily acted as the Technical Editor and formatted and edited himself all the pdf files and issues of the magazine for 5 years. Also, he created the first ILS website.

Many of us had the privilege to meet him, receiving from him high motivation charged with passion for legumes and plants in general. The legume community as we know it today is open, lively, creative and with a good sense of humour. Aleksandar contributed greatly to these features with his own exceptional example, insight and human characteristics. He foresaw ILS as a key opportunity for legume research and transfer to industry, linking together the research on all legumes worldwide (grain, forage, pharmaceutical or ornamental ones; from the Old World to the Americas).

Aleksandar also valued a good team spirit. Many of us remember our debut as players of the First International Legume Football Cup that Aleksandar organized. Using his own words, an amalgam of science and fun. Aleksandar kept creating the names and logos of the participating teams for the following editions. And we are looking forward to the Fourth edition of the Cup at ILS4 in 2022 in Granada!

Aleksandar’s scientific horizons were endless, including archaeology, plant biology, breeding and farmers communities. He was a prolific writer not only of scientific papers but also books like the Lexicon of Pulse Crops and Haiku Poems about legumes, and even cartoons of Asterix or other characters focusing on legume-based stories!

In the last years, Aleksandar suffered the effects of a disease that progressively erased his ability to work. Despite that, he still managed to occasionally contribute to ILS in various ways.

We will miss Aleksandar and his bright, innovative ideas. As a tribute to Aleksandar as a poet and a scientist, we retrieve his “Lady of Legumes” poem from Grain Legumes 54 (2009) for all of you.

Inwitári! Of Legumes Dame!
I sing to praise thy noble name.
Slender thou art, a stem of vetch;
Firmly thy grace my heart did catch.
The steps of thine are gentle and light,
Leaving a trace of clover white.
The hue of thy hair is gold pure
Like a grain of soybean mature.
The lips like thine none’s ever seen,
Purple as pods of lablab bean.
Stars in thy eyes fall in showers,
Small and bright like lentil flowers.
Thy soul is fresh, fragrant and neat
As a garden full of pea sweet.
Like a firebird with flaming plumes
Thy beauty is, Lady of Legumes.

Aleksandar´s short bio 
Aleksandar Mikić, PhD, born in Pančevo, Serbia, in 1974, worked as Research Associate and annual legume breeder at the Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops in Novi Sad, Serbia. His fields of interest encompassed conventional and molecular genetics, genetic resources, breeding, agronomy, agroecology, and crop history of annual legumes. Dr. Mikić co-authored more than 350 journal papers, about 120 international conference papers, over 10 book chapters, and more than 30 legume cultivars. He was also one of the founding members of the International Legume Society (2012), among the creators of the UN FAO 10-Year Research Strategy For Pulse Crops (2016) and a member of the Editorial Board of the journal Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution (since 2018). 

He left his wife Sanya and daugther Sonja and son Mihailo

The 4th International Legume Society Conference – Save the date!

Dear colleagues and friends,

It is our great pleasure to welcome you to Granada (Spain), to the 4th International Legume Society Conference, which will be held between the 18th and the 21st of October 2022. This International Conference, which follows our earlier conferences in Novi Sad (2013), Tróia (2016) and Poznań (2019), aims to stimulate knowledge exchange and interactions among researchers and stakeholders interested in promoting greater cultivation and use of grain and forage legumes, as a necessary path towards more sustainable food and feed systems and healthier diets. The conference will cover a wide range of topics, organized in the following scientific sessions:

  • Legume-based value chains: innovation and optimization
  • Legume-based cropping systems: performance, ecosystem services and profitability
  • Legumes for human and animal nutrition and health
  • Legume biodiversity and genetic resource exploitation
  • Genetics and omics-based legume crop improvement
  • Legume breeding: challenges, tools, strategies and achievements
  • Legume physiology, biochemistry and systems biology
  • Beneficial legume plant-microbe interactions
  • Understanding and enhancing legume crop tolerance to abiotic stresses
  • Understanding and enhancing legume crop tolerance to biotic stresses

Further details will be provided by the conference webpage, which will be launched in autumn 2021.

The conference will take place at the Granada Conference and Exhibition Centre, well equipped with the most advanced congress facilities, located in the heart of the city at walking distance to hotels and the monumental city center.

Granada is a World Heritage city declared by UNESCO. Besides the world-renowned Alhambra Palace, Granada offers to visitors the beauty of its historic buildings and countless palaces, Arab town houses and gardens. Besides, Granada is close to the National Park of Sierra Nevada and the sunny Tropical Coast.

Recently, Granada has been awarded City of Science and Innovation. The University of Granada, one of the oldest and most prestigious seats for learning in Spain, the Health Science Technological Park, and the presence of several research Institutes from CSIC, result in a fascinating scientific atmosphere to promote and generate knowledge through many different areas, including key aspects focused in sustainable agriculture, nutrition and human health.

We hope this conference will provide a great opportunity for getting back to physical meetings as we used to live in the pre-covid19 age, with a vision for innovation and science-driven socio-economic change that is increasingly needed for more sustainable human development. We hope that you will enjoy not only the scientific program but also the Andalusian hospitality and the social activities that we will organize, to offer you an unforgettable stay in the beautiful city of Granada.

8th International Legume Root Diseases workshop (ILRD8) postponed to October 06-07th, 2020, Rennes, France

Due to the covid-19 pandemic, the 8th International Legume Root Diseases Workshop (ILRD8), to be held in Agrocampus-Ouest, Rennes, France, is postponed to October 06-07th, 2020.

Abstract submission deadline for oral presentations extended to June 1st, 2020 !

Registrations open and abstract submission for posters until August 1st, 2020 !

Updated information on the ILRD8 website:

For any questions, contact:

We look forward to meeting you at the workshop in October !


The International Legume Society website is currently curated by:

Nelson Nazzicari, Ph.D.
nelson.nazzicari [at]
CREA - Council for Agricultural Research and Analysis of Agricultural Economics
Research Centre for Animal Production and Aquaculture, Viale Piacenza, 29 - 26900 Lodi

Grain Legumes

Grain Legumes was a quarterly publication by the European Association for Grain Legume Research (AEP) and co-published by the Legume Society (LS) and the Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops (IFVCNS)

ISSN 0245-4710

Publishing Director: Diego Rubiales
CSIC, Institute for Sustainable Agriculture Córdoba, Spain

Editor-in-Chief: Diego Rubiales (faba bean; legume biotic stress)

Associate Editor: Fred Stoddard (legume agroecology; legume agronomy)

Assistant Editors
Michael Abberton (Trifolium; legume genomics)
Paolo Annicchiarico (Medicago; ecological legume breeding)
Marina Carbonaro (medicine legumes; legume bioactive compounds)
Branko Šupina (forage and grassland legumes; legume intercropping)
Vuk Đorđeviš (Glycine; legume anti-nutritional factors)
Gérard Duc (legume genetic resources; legumes in food and feed)
Noel Ellis (comparative legume research; legume science strategies)
Aleksandar Mikiš (vetches; legume networking)
Teresa Millan (Cicer; legume molecular breeding)
Fred Muehlbauer (Lens; conventional legume breeding)
Marta Santalla (Phaseolus; legume gene mapping)
Petr Smýkal (legume molecular taxonomy; legume crop history)
Wojciech Święcicki (Lupinuss; legume genetics)
Carlota Vaz Patto (Lathyrus; legume abiotic stress)
Tom Warkentin (Pisum; legume nitrogen flow and nutritional value)

Archived issues

Legume Perspectives

Legume Perspectives is a quarterly publication by The International Legume Society (ILS) and co-published by Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (CSIC) and Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica António Xavier

ISSN 2340-1559 (electronic issue)

Publishing Director: Diego Rubiales
CSIC, Institute for Sustainable Agriculture Córdoba, Spain

Editor-in-Chief: M. Carlota Vaz Patto
Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica António Xavier (Universidade Nova de Lisboa) Oeiras, Portugal

Technical Editor: José Ricardo Parreira Salvado
Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica António Xavier (Universidade Nova de Lisboa) Oeiras, Portugal

Legume Perspectives Design: Aleksandar Mikić –

Current issue

Archived issues

ILS Conference 4, Granada (Spain), September 19-22, 2023

Book of abstracts

Conference Program

Keynote speaker Karen Cichy: Is convenience at odds with health and nutrition? Whole beans vs bean flours

Keynote speaker Kadambot Siddique: Enhancing abiotic stress tolerance in grain legumes: physiological and molecular approaches

Keynote spearker Sukhjiwan Kaur: Sowing the Future: Predictions, Simulations & Speed Breeding for Legumes

In memory of Aleksandar Mikić

During the opening ceremony dr. Petr Smýkal had a talk remembering the late Aleksandar Mikić. You can download his presentation here:

Thanks to all the participants and see you at ILS5 in Dubrovnik!