Investment Details


Welcome to the GRDC Investments pilot. It contains a selection of our RD&E investment portfolio. Let us know what you think!

GRDC Code: UOA1805-017RTX
Increasing the effectiveness of nitrogen fixation in pulse crops through development of improved rhizobial strains, inoculation and crop management practices

This project aims to improve the viability and profitability of high value pulses (faba bean, lentil and chickpea) through the provision of improved inoculant strains, the assessment of inoculant delivery technologies under hostile establishment conditions and improved understanding of pesticide impacts on the symbiosis.

It will demonstrate where inoculation is of value and identify opportunities for future symbiotic improvement.
Promising strains of acid tolerant rhizobia for faba bean and lentil have been identified in previous research. The next phase of this work will focus on commercialising one of the strains and understanding the pH boundaries where it reliably delivers benefits. The ability of the new rhizobia to survive in soils outside of the host plant, will also be tested. Similar rhizobia strain improvement work will be initiated for chickpea.

In addition, this project will assess the merit of different inoculant formulations and whether they provide advantages under challenging conditions. The extent to which crop protection chemicals are impacting on N fixation will be measured and growers and industry informed about which pesticides are most damaging. The work will investigate the extent to which herbicide tolerant pulse varieties overcome the detrimental impacts of some herbicides on N-fixation.

Project start date:
Project end date:
Crop type:
All Pulses
The University of Adelaide
Key Investment Target: