Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture (PCTOC)

, Volume 127, Issue 3, pp 591–599 | Cite as

Time to flowering of temperate pulses in vivo and generation turnover in vivo–in vitro of narrow-leaf lupin accelerated by low red to far-red ratio and high intensity in the far-red region

  • Janine S. Croser
  • Maria Pazos-Navarro
  • Richard G. Bennett
  • Sabrina Tschirren
  • Kylie Edwards
  • William Erskine
  • Robert Creasy
  • Federico M. RibaltaEmail author
Original Article


Understanding the role light quality plays on floral initiation is key to a range of pre-breeding tools, such as accelerated single-seed-descent. We have elucidated the effect of light quality on early flowering onset in cool-season grain legumes and developed predictive models for time to flowering under the optimised light conditions. Early and late flowering genotypes of pea, chickpea, faba bean, lentil and lupin were grown in controlled environments under different light spectra (blue and far red-enriched LED lights and metal halide). All species and genotypes showed a positive response to a decreasing red to far-red ratio (R:FR). In general, ratios above 3.5 resulted in the longest time to flowering. In environments with R:FR below 3.5, light with the highest intensity in the FR region was the most inductive. We demonstrate the importance of considering both relative (R:FR) and absolute (FR photons) light values for flower induction in grain legumes. Greater response to light spectra was observed in the later flowering genotypes, enabling a drastic compression of time to flowering between phenologically diverse genotypes. A novel protocol for robust in vitro germination of immature seeds was developed for lupin, a species known for its recalcitrance to in vitro manipulation. We show how combining this protocol with growth under conditions optimized for early flowering drastically speeds generation turnover. The improved understanding of the effect of light on flowering regulation and the development of robust in vitro culture protocols will assist the development and exploitation of biotechnological tools for legume breeding.


Early flowering Far-red photons Grain legumes LED light, light quality Red to far-red ratio 



This work was supported by the Grains Research and Development Corporation [UWA00159]. We thank Mr B. Piasini and Mr L. Hodgson for glasshouse expertise and Ms Christine Munday and Ms Simone Wells for technical assistance.

Author contributions

JSC, MPN, FMR conducted experimental design, data analysis and manuscript writing. WE, RC and RGB were involved in strategic experimental input. KE conducted in vitro experiments. ST conducted glasshouse experiments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janine S. Croser
    • 1
  • Maria Pazos-Navarro
    • 1
  • Richard G. Bennett
    • 1
  • Sabrina Tschirren
    • 1
  • Kylie Edwards
    • 1
  • William Erskine
    • 1
  • Robert Creasy
    • 1
  • Federico M. Ribalta
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Centre for Plant Genetics and BreedingThe University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia

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