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Scoping the potential for summer grains (mungbean) physiology research.

Frederiks, T. (2016) Scoping the potential for summer grains (mungbean) physiology research. Project Report. State of Queensland.

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Abstract

Australian mungbean production is increasing, with the main cropping area in Queensland. The Australian Mungbean Association (AMA) has a strategic goal to increase the annual production from ~ 80 000 + t to 170 000 t by 2019. The bulk of production is exported, achieving high average prices (over $1000/t) in recent years. With the current price premium for mungbeans, gross margins compare very favourably to other summer crops. Given the benefits of including pulses in diets, and legumes in crop rotations, it is important to develop more reliable and higher yielding varieties to grow the industry.

While recently released DAF mungbean varieties have markedly improved grain yields compared to previous varieties, the best varieties still yield considerably less than other major summer legumes. It is important to identify the factors limiting production, identify sources of adaptation, and incorporate desirable traits into new varieties. A multidisciplinary approach to integrate an improved understanding of plant physiology with innovative breeding methodologies could be useful to deliver benefits to pulse growers and industry in Queensland.

This scoping study, conducted as an internally–funded innovation project in DAF, proposes that with a better understanding of crop physiology improved mungbean types could be developed. For example, new varieties that attain high leaf area early, that direct maximum resources to developing grain after flowering, and that ripen pods more uniformly, are likely to show higher yield potential. Superior varieties are also likely to exhibit improved plant architecture and be better adapted to key abiotic stresses such as drought and/or heat. Some plant physiology work has been undertaken as part of the current mungbean breeding program, but dedicated research in this area is limited.

The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) is the main external funder of Australian pulse research, usually with substantial co-funding from host research agencies. The current scoping project has identified potential for physiology research to increase mungbean productivity. However, for a small crop like mungbean, with production centred in Queensland, it will be difficult to attract external funding until the utility of the concept can be demonstrated. A new mungbean physiology research effort will likely require initial funding support from DAF. Increasing research investment in a small crop like mungbean needs to be judiciously targeted to address issues of concern to stakeholders, ensuring appropriate returns on investment and to maximise gains. .

Item Type:Monograph (Project Report)
Business groups:Crop and Food Science
Keywords:Final report Agri-Science Queensland Innovation Opportunity
Subjects:Science > Botany > Plant physiology
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Methods and systems of culture. Cropping systems
Plant culture > Field crops > Grain. Cereals
Deposited On:22 Nov 2016 05:00
Last Modified:22 Nov 2016 05:00

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