Brendon Cant brendon at iinet.net.au
Wed Sep 20 04:21:59 CEST 2006





Wild lupins flowering herald more than just the arrival of spring. 


They indicate the start of the most robust evaluation yet of the genetic
secrets held within the Australian Lupin Collection (ALC) at the Department
of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA).


As part of the evaluation, highly skilled WA researchers, working through
the Centre for Legumes in Mediterranean Agriculture (CLIMA) partnership,
have begun to group representative samples of the 2000 lupin lines held in
the ALC.


While the ALC has already been tapped for sources of resistance to
anthracnose, phomopsis and pleiochaeta root rot (PRR), creation of a core
collection will cut down the time it takes lupin breeders to identify
important traits for crop improvement.


Supported by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), the
project began last year on the ALC's 1300 different narrow leafed lupins and
through DNA fingerprinting, created a core sample of 120 wild narrow leafed
lupin accessions.


This core sample, representing the range of genetic diversity across the
collection, is flowering at the University of Western Australia (UWA)
Shenton Park field station.


CLIMA researcher Dr Fucheng Shan said the core would firstly be evaluated
for yield and then quality and resistance to diseases such as Brown Spot,
PRR and seed transmission of Cucumber Mosaic


"We will evaluate the core for 18 biotic and 21 quality characteristics
which have been prioritised by lupin breeders," Dr Shan said.


"The characterised germplasm will give lupin breeding programs better access
to novel traits that will allow development of superior new cultivars to
benefit the Australian lupin industry."


Dr Shan said representative core collections would also be developed from
the Yellow, Albus and Pearl lupin collections within the ALC.


The ALC, built up since 1958 from local collecting missions abroad and
germplasm imports from overseas breeding programs, is the most comprehensive
lupin collection in the world and includes a substantial representation of
nearly all other lupin species from the Mediterranean area and North Africa.


Other researchers working on the collection include Dr Jon Clements (UWA and
DAFWA) and James Ponds, a PhD student from UWA.


Dr Clements said while there had been previous morphological and
geographical evaluation of subsets of the ALC in the early 1990s, this was
the first time it had been attempted using combined morphology and DNA



Authorised by CLIMA and issued on its behalf by Brendon Cant & Associates,
Tel 08 9384 1122

MEDIA CONTACTS:Dr Fucheng Shan, Tel 08 6488 7193, Dr Jon Clements, Tel 08
6488 1342.




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