BRENDON CANT brendon at iinet.net.au
Wed Sep 24 03:33:45 CEST 2008


Lupins, first domesticated as a grain legume crop by WA’s own Dr John
Gladstones, have in the past 30 years developed from nothing into an
industry which is now an essential part of WA agriculture.

Dr Bevan Buirchell, Senior Lupin Breeder at the Department of Agriculture
and Food WA, reminded participants of this at the recent Grains Research and
Development Corporation (GRDC) supported 12th International Lupin Conference
in Fremantle, September 14 -18.

But the lupin industry now faces on-farm challenges in the form of herbicide
resistant weeds, low economic return and inconsistent or low yield.

Market challenges also exist, including lack of differentiation from other
protein forms, low protein, allergenicity and penetrating human consumption

Dr Buirchell addressed the question of how breeding strategies can
contribute to the future success of the lupin industry.

To increase genetic gain in the crop, different sources of germplasm are
available, including wild types, or exotic germplasm from genebanks,
advanced breeding lines and varieties from other breeding programs.

According to Dr Buirchell, resistance to anthracnose is a priority for the
breeding program and present levels protect stems, petioles and leaves, but
not flowering tissue or early pods. Screening for resistance on flower
tissue has been difficult and no robust sources of resistance have been

An area of ongoing research is to identify the cause of Black Pod Syndrome,
which can cause yield loss of up to 40 per cent in south coast regions.

Dr Buirchell indicated the cause is unknown, although it may be due to late
infection with Bean Yellow Mosaic Virus. Identifying the cause would assist
development of resistant lines.

Addressing the GRDC supported conference, he said the cost of lupin
production is rising faster than the farm gate price, so, to attract better
prices, lupins must be differentiated from other grain legumes.

This could be defined by “special” attributes or if they fall into “protein
sensitive” markets, such as aquaculture, by having whole seed protein
content above 35 per cent.

The current GRDC supported breeding program maintains protein at above 32
per cent, so there is scope to increase protein levels.

So far, the inverse relationship between yield and protein apparent in other
grains has not been demonstrated in lupins.

Coromup, which has the highest protein of any released variety at 35 per
cent, is available for WA growers interested in supplying high protein
lupins into the aquaculture market.


The Crop Doctor is GRDC Managing Director, Peter Reading, Tel 02 6166 4500
Further Information: Dr Bevan Buirchell, Tel 08 9368 3653

GRDC REF: CDSept082.doc/DAW00156/MacLean230908
Brendon Cant & Associates
Public Relations & Marketing
Suite 5
4 Gugeri St
Claremont WA 6010
Tel 08 9384 1122

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