The five-year Lupin Disease Resistance and four-year Harvestable Annual Legume Options (HALO) projects are the first to be announced under the Collaboration’s Grains Transformation program.
Grains Transformation is one of six key program themes developed by the Collaboration, which also include Northern Australia’s Agriculture, Climate Resilience, Agricultural Technologies, Aboriginal Participation, and Capacity Building and Extension.
Lupin Disease Resistance is focused on boosting lupin resistance to its four major diseases, while the HALO project is exploring harvestable annual legumes cultivars that can be used in rotation to reduce synthetic nitrogen fertilisers.
Both grains projects are a co-investment between the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and the Collaboration, including its seven partners Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), CSIRO, Grower Group Alliance and WA universities: Curtin, Edith Cowan, Murdoch and The University of Western Australia.
WA Agricultural Research Collaboration Director Kelly Pearce said the new grains projects brought together funding partners and multidisciplinary collaborators for the advancement of agricultural R&D in our State.
“It is wonderful to see these grains projects get off the ground and to mark another Collaboration milestone since our first Northern Agriculture project was announced in May – the Cropping Enabled Cattle initiative,” Dr Pearce said.
“The Collaboration is committed to delivering impactful and enduring research outcomes that align with Western Australia’s agricultural priorities – these latest projects have exciting potential benefits for industry.”
The Lupin Disease Resistance project brings together the crop genetics and plant pathology expertise of DPIRD, Curtin and Murdoch Universities with the plant breeding experience of Australian Grain Technologies.
DPIRD Genetic Improvement Portfolio Manager Darshan Sharma said the project would help deliver future narrow-leafed lupin varieties with improved resistance to its major diseases: phomopsis, cucumber mosaic virus, anthracnose and sclerotinia.