Centuries of natural selection by subsistence farmers in Ethiopia will help Australian lupin growers beat the current major threat from Anthracnose.
"I think there's a lot of disease resistance accumulated over the years," said Clive Francis, Deputy Director of the Centre for Legumes in Mediterranean Agriculture, describing resistant lupins collected under an exchange program from the Blue Nile region of Ethiopia.
The Ethiopian lines have the additional bonus of being non-shattering — probably also because local farmers had selected over the years those lines they found easiest to harvest.
Under a program supported by growers through the GRDC, breeders are now crossing the Ethiopian lines with local high-yielding lines which are severely affected by the disease. They hope to have advanced lines available within two years.
Contact: Dr Clive Francis 08 9380 2505