Drought tolerance of novel perennial legumes

Summary

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.

Program

New and Emerging Plant Industries

Research Organisation

University of Western Australia

Objective Summary

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 Code

PRJ-002323

Project Stage

Closed

Project Start Date

Friday, May 30, 2008

Project Completion Date

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Journal Articles From Project

Not Available

National Priority

An environmentally sustainable Australia

National Priority

Soil, water and managing natural resources

National Priority

NEPI-RD&E to generate benefit across several plant industries

Contact

Related publications

21.12.11

Drought Tolerance of some New Perennial Legumes