Lucerne is an important world pasture species. Australia is the third largest exporter of Lucerne seed. Bee decline is seen as a potential threat to this industry. The debate on managing the impact of bee decline on food production has focused on bees. Modifying the plant’s need for insect pollination has not be seriously considered. Experience with a range of species suggests selecting for selfpollination in crops is a viable option. Lucerne is an autopolyploid species, and finding rare recessive alleles in autopolyploid species is significantly harder than in diploids or allopolyploids. A large and diverse Lucerne population will be developed and maintained in insectproof screenhouses at UWA to provide an effective screen to select for selfpollination. It is proposed that this project will screen 200,000 genotypes. This should allow for the detection of up to a 4 gene system for selfpollination ability in Lucerne. The UWA facilities provide a suitable environment for testing the selected plants both with and without bees to determine whether the material selected is truly capable of selfpollination. Once identified, there may be several options as to how this selfpollination character might be exploited.
University of Western Australia
The objective is to identify genotypes of Lucerne that have the ability to selfpollinate in the absence of bees. Project Outcomes: Determination of whether there are Lucerne genotypes that have the ability to selfpollinate in the absence of bees. Commercialisation opportunities identified for any Lucerne genotypes found with selfpollination ability.
Project Start Date
Monday, May 1, 2017
Project Completion Date
Friday, July 31, 2020
Journal Articles From Project
Frontier technologies for building and transforming Australian industries
PSE-Sustainable certified temperate pasture seed production