The aim of this project is to characterise the degree of drought tolerance and mechanisms conferring drought tolerance in a selection of novel perennial legumes. This project will include 4 native perennial legumes (Cullen australasicum, C. cinereum, C. pallidum and Kennedia prorepens) and 2 exotic perennial legumes, one originating from the Mediterranean (Bituminaria bituminosa var albomarginata) and one originating from North America (Macroptilium atropurpureum). The only current perennial legume widely used in the mediumlow rainfall zone, lucerne, will be included as a control. All species have been found in recent research activities in WA, in particular during the 2007 drought, to have drought tolerance superior to that of lucerne. Their diverse origins and morphologies suggest that the mechanisms that confer drought tolerance may differ greatly between the species. However, we need further knowledge of their degree of drought tolerance and the mechanisms for this tolerance to actively select for this trait in selection/breeding programs. There will be a focus on C. australasicum and B. bituminosa var albomarginata as these 2 species have already been prioritised for selection and breeding activities as part of the proposed FFI CRC/GRDC project “Perennial forage legumes for cropping systems in a drying climate”. (This project will go to teh FFI CRC Board for approval in late May with commencement in July 2008. GRDC will also need to sign off to the final version even though they have seen drafts all the way through). Thus in addition to good drought tolerance they are considered to possess other favourable traits for domestication. Three contrasting accessions of each of these species will be used in the project.
New and Emerging Plant Industries
University of Western Australia
The objective of this project is to characterise the degree of drought tolerance and mechanisms conferring drought tolerance in a selection of novel perennial legumes under two circumstances: 1) During the establishment phase (glasshouse and field experiments). 2) As mature plants (field experiments).
Project Start Date
Friday, May 30, 2008
Project Completion Date
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Journal Articles From Project
An environmentally sustainable Australia
Soil, water and managing natural resources
NEPI-RD&E to generate benefit across several plant industries