PBA Research Priorities

The PBA breeding programs are focused on delivering pulse cultivars with:

  • regional adaptation
  • high yield
  • superior resistance to diseases (such as ascochyta and bacterial blight, botrytis grey mould, anthracnose and chocolate spot)
  • outstanding quality parameters for mainstream and special-purpose end-users
  • improved abiotic stress tolerance (such as herbicide resistance, boron and salt tolerance.

In order to continue to deliver superior varieties into the future PBA has identified a number of priority areas of research for each of the PBA crops.  While these areas of research lie outside of the breeding programs, their potential outputs would assist in improving the traits and performance of future varieties.

PBA would encourage all pulse researchers and research investors to consider these priorities as appropriate within their research programs.

Further Information

Fleur Winter, PBA Coordinator
0417 926 033

Breeding Program Priorities


  1. Identify chilling tolerance to improve early pod set and the reliability of pod set in cool temperatures.
  2. Investigate and develop germplasm with novel sources of resistance to the major viruses of chickpea in Australia (BWYV, AMV and CMV).
  3. Investigate Sclerotinia resistance to ascertain if there are differences in the tolerance of current varieties and genetic variation in chickpea germplasm

Faba Bean

  1. Identification and utilisation of heterotic groups in faba bean, including investigation of the potential for synthetic varieties.
  2. Genetics of rust resistance.
  3. Root Lesion Nematode resistance.
  4. Understanding phenology and early pod set under high biomass conditions.

Field Pea

  1. Investigate diversity in genetic variation of growth, phenology, grain yield and grain quality responses to transient water stress for optimising crop adaptation to lower rainfall environments.
  2. Development of parental germplasm with new traits and genetic diversity from within Pisum for further exploitation in the PBA breeding program, e.g. resistance to pea weevil (Bruchus pisorum).
  3. Develop field pea mutation/polyploid populations than can be used to develop herbicide tolerance and improve other traits were genetic variation is limited.
  4. Investigate diversity and potential for breeding for heat stress tolerance (flowering stage).


  1. Improved lentil productivity and agronomic adaptation to medium and low rainfall environments through an examination of traits affecting yield and harvestability under moisture stress in southern Australia, and opportunities for exploiting traits for specific and broad adaptation.
  2. Investigate and develop germplasm with tolerance to water-logging.
  3. Investigate and develop germplasm with resistance to aphids: cowpea aphid (Aphis craccivora), pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum), and bluegreen aphid (Acyrthosiphon kondoi).
  4. Investigate and develop germplasm with novel sources of resistance to viruses of lentil in Australia, e.g. BWYV, AMV and CMV.


  1. Developing and phenotyping marker populations engaging the highest level of phomopsis resistance lines in lupin breeding program,  and marker development for better phomopsis stem and pod infection tolerance for reduced risk of phomopsin toxin in lupin grain destined for food and feed markets.
  2. Developing and phenotyping marker populations engaging parental lines with the highest attributes of the traits in the lupin breeding program - marker development for quantitative traits like CMV seed transmission, low stable seed alkaloids, high protein and protein quality to assist the breeding program in making improvements in these areas.
  3. New herbicide group options for lupins and the range of tolerance to this chemistry in the lupin breeding program and germplasm.