Thinner coats to set fashion

Miles Dracup of CLIMA with plants and seed of a thin seed coat genotype of narrow-leafed lupin.

TAKING the fibrous coat off lupins could mean a more profitable future for lupin growers.

To help stem the recent decline of lupin popularity, researchers from AGWEST and the Centre for Legumes in Mediterranean Agriculture (CLIMA), led by Miles Dracup, are working on lupin genotypes with enhanced value per kilo.

"Lupin crops did not demand good prices because grain weight was dominated by the seed coat, which is comprised of mostly indigestible fibre, so growers were producing grain where a quarter of the harvest weight was of no value to the end user," he said.

Jon Clements, a research scientist in Dr Dracup's team at CLIMA, supported by growers and the Federal Government through the GRDC, identified 10 new genotypes with 15-20 per cent less coat than the common variety Tanjil. One of them had almost a quarter less seed coat, relative to the parent genotype.

Dehulling thick-hulled lupins can improve digestibility but, at $60 per tonne, it is an expensive process.

Program 2.4.3 Contact: Professor Kadambot Siddique 08 9380 7012