Plant breeders have finger on pulse
Farmers and the Australian grains industry will be the winners from a new national pulse breeding collaboration involving University of Adelaide plant breeders.
Pulse Breeding Australia (PBA), launched at the University of Adelaide, will coordinate Australia's pulse breeding efforts and create a world-class breeding and germplasm enhancement program.
Pulses are the dried edible seeds of legume plants such as lentils, beans and peas. They are an important part of Australian grain production, both as export crops in their own right and as part of crop rotations.
PBA is a collaborative venture between the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), Pulse Australia, the University of Adelaide, the SA Research and Development Institute (SARDI) and State departments of primary industries in Victoria, NSW, Queensland and Western Australia. PBA will help to underpin the sustainability of the Australian grains industry.
"The University of Adelaide's position in this new venture underlines our role as the leading Australian university in the area of plant breeding," said PBA board member and the University of Adelaide's Deputy Head of the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, Associate Professor Mike Keller.
"Our involvement in programs like Pulse Breeding Australia provides an avenue for us to deliver our plant science research to the farming community. It also adds great strength to our postgraduate training in plant breeding."
University of Adelaide Plant breeder and Research Fellow Dr Jeff Paull will lead the national faba bean breeding program. Under PBA the existing faba bean breeding programs in NSW and Waite will work together to meet national needs and avoid duplication.