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Type: Conference paper
Title: Searching for native perennial legumes with pasture potential
Author: Ryan, M.
Bennett, R.
Denton, M.
Hughes, S.
Mitchell, M.
Carmody, B.
Edmonds-Tibbett, T.
Nicol, D.
Snowball, R.
Citation: Global Issues Paddock Action. Proceedings of the 14th Australian Agronomy Conference. September 2008, Adelaide South Australia / M. J. Unkovich (ed.): pp.1-6
Publisher: Australian Society of Agronomy
Publisher Place: Online
Issue Date: 2008
Conference Name: Australian Agronomy Conference (14th : 2008 : Adelaide, Australia)
Statement of
Megan Ryan, Richard Bennett, Matthew Denton, Steve Hughes, Meredith Mitchell, Bernadette Carmody, Tammy Edmonds-Tibbett, Dion Nicol, Lori Kroiss and Richard Snowball
Abstract: Native Australian perennial herbaceous legumes with potential to be developed as pasture plants for the medium-low rainfall zones of the wheatbelt were collected and screened. The aim was to identify species with characteristics suited for domestication and adaptation for difficult environments, such as highly acid soils, poorly fertile soils, and areas with low rainfall or prone to drought. A literature search identified five target genera: Cullen, Swainsona, Glycine, Kennedia and Lotus. We collected around 400 accessions, primarily from these genera, from NSW, Victoria, WA, SA and the NT. Most accessions have since been seed increased and the seed is now stored at the Australian Trifolium GRC in Perth or the Australian Medicago GRC in South Australia. Root nodules were collected and > 500 root nodule bacteria were isolated, with many tested for symbiotic effectiveness on selected host plant species: selected strains were then placed in long term storage. A database is being developed that will link the information on collection sites, plant species and root nodule bacteria. Species of Cullen, especially Cullen australasicum, show most promise for domestication. Several research projects focussed on Cullen are now underway. Other genera with potential niche applications include Lotus in dry areas and Glycine as an understorey in fodder shrub systems. Further investigation of Swainsona may have merit as it contains a large number of diverse species.
Keywords: Native plants; rhizobia; Cullen; perennial pastures; dryland salinity; autumn feed gap
Rights: Copyright status unknown
RMID: 0020107998
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Appears in Collections:Agriculture, Food and Wine publications

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