Resurrecting the undead

At the University of Adelaide, Ms Jane Rathjen and Mr Ian Delaere examine one of Ms Rathgen's vetch crosses

...Also from South Australia, an interesting report on reviving very old seeds as another avenue to finding a successor to the ill-fated Blanche Fleur vetch. That variety was recently taken off the market for human consumption because of its anti-nutritional factors.

Scientists at the University of Adelaide have developed a rapid infrared screening technique which enables them to determine the anti-nutritional factor level in individual seeds without damaging the viability of the seed. GRDC Junior Research Fellow Jane Rathjen has successfully revived seeds collected more than 40 years ago.

Using methods developed by fellow PhD student Ian Delaere, she analysed them for anti-nutritional factor levels. The two scientists are applying state-of-the-art methods to Ms Rathjen's Blanche-Flrur crosses, to help untangle the inheritance of anti-nutritional factors.