The grain legume crops are an important component of agricultural biodiversity and food security, because of the rich protein food and fodder, and a source of income. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the agro-morphological diversity of three alternative grain legume crops (Cicer arietinum L., Lathyrus sp. L. and Vicia ervilia L.) and to select the best accessions with a high yield potential. The assessment of the agro-morphological traits was performed according to the International Descriptors’ of each crop. High variation for Lathyrus sp. L. accessions was observed in the following agronomic traits: plant height, height to the first pod, number of pods per plant, number of grains per plant, mass of grains per plant and mass of 100 grains; for Cicer arietinum L. – number of grains per plant and mass of grains per plant and for Vicia ervilia L. – height to the first pod, number of pods per plant, number of grains per plant and mass of grains per plant. The variability of quantitative traits has shown a high genetic diversity in the evaluated accessions from alternative grain legume collections. The group of early grasspea accessions embraced twelve accessions. Three local chickpea populations had the shortest vegetative period from 86.7 days. Two bitter vetch accessions from the early group possessed positive yield traits. Based on the results obtained from this study, the best accessions were selected, for example: from Cicer arietinum L. – seven accessions; from Lathyrus sp. L. – five accessions and from Vicia ervilia L. – five accessions. According to these results, it can be concluded that the best accessions will be used for the next experimental trials and will be recommended to all interested researchers, breeders and farmers.
Keywords: grasspea (Lathyrus sp. L.), chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.), bitter vetch (Vicia ervilia L.), agro-morphological assessment