Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.

Author ORCID Identifier


Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Plant, Soil & Insect Sciences

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Masoud Hashemi

Subject Categories

Agronomy and Crop Sciences


Faba bean is a multi-benefit cool-season grain legume that can be integrated into cropping systems of a shorter-growing season regions such as New England. A comprehensive research study was conducted to explore the ecological, nutritional, medicinal, and financial benefits of faba bean as a new multi-purpose crop for Northeast U.S.A. It was revealed that the faba bean genotypes exhibited dramatic variations in thermal units required to reach various phenological stages. Using phenology, morphology and physiological growth pattern of six faba bean varieties showed that larger seeds and later maturity did not necessarily produced higher yield. Aquadulce, the earliest maturity with medium size seed out-yielded other genotypes thus providing the opportunity for double cropping. When planted in August 1, faba bean accumulated up to 192 kg N ha-1. Nitrogen mineralization from faba bean residues had a better synchrony with sweet corn N uptake in no-till system than conventional tillage system. Sweet corn planted into faba bean residues produced higher ear yield and less unfilled ear tip compared with those grown in no faba bean plots. On average, sweet corn planted into faba bean residues responded positively to applications of supplemental N up to 60 kg ha-1. Averaged over two years, sweet corn after faba bean and 50 kg N ha-1, yielded similarly to those that received 100 kg N ha-1 without faba bean cover crop. Faba bean varieties exhibited considerable variations in their macro- and micronutrient contents. Averaged over six varieties, faba bean seeds contained over 19% protein, 0.76% P, 1.78% K, 0.19% Ca, and 0.20% Mg on dry weight basis. Micronutrients content of seeds were Fe 71, Cu 20, B 25, Mn 16, and Zn 40 mg kg-1. Results also revealed that faba bean leaves and pod walls were also rich in protein, macro and micro nutrients. The results of the experiments suggested that the highest L-Dopa concentration was detected at seedling stage however, to maximize the optimum L-Dopa yield, the crop should be harvested prior to the physiological maturity, roughly 70 days after transplanting. It was concluded that the amount of dry matter produced by faba bean was considerable enough to be grown as a viable source of natural L-Dopa that is comparable with synthetic sources. However, given that total extractable L-Dopa is a function of both concentration and biomass, the highest L-Dopa yield was extracted from mature plants. The highest L-Dopa content was detected in fresh leaves followed by flowers, young pods, mature seeds, and roots. It was concluded that all processing methods reduced the L-Dopa content. Among all tested processing methods, immediate freezing of plant tissues preserved more L-Dopa than oven drying, air drying, and boiling. Plants grown in drought stress condition synthesized higher L-Dopa however, their L-Dopa yield was significantly lower due to producing lower biomass. Supplemental N application did not influence L-Dopa synthesis, however L-Dopa yield increased with increased N rate, primarily because of higher biomass production.