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Adaptation of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) and faba bean (Vicia faba L.) to Australia

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Part of the Current Plant Science and Biotechnology in Agriculture book series (PSBA, volume 34)

Abstract

In the last 20 years chickpea and faba bean have become major pulse crops in Australia. They are grown during winter over a latitudinal range which extends from 10–40° S for chickpea, and 20–40° S for faba bean. In low latitudes these crops grow mainly on water stored in the soil from summer rainfall with supplementary irrigation in some areas, while in the higher latitudes, they are grown in Mediterranean type environments relying solely on winter rainfall. Farmers recognise the benefit of including these pulses in rotation with cereals and the interest in these crops is continuing to expand, notably faba bean in subtropical north-eastern areas and of both pulses in Western Australia. Breeding programs are continuing to develop cultivars adapted to the wide range of latitudes and with disease resistance. Some germplasm introduced from overseas has required minimal selection before being released, while other genotypes have been poorly adapted and genetic changes are required. Faba bean produces highest yields when sown as early as possible and when diseases are managed by genetic resistance or fungicide application. Chickpea is less affected by delayed sowing and some crops are sown in mid-winter to avoid radiation frosts during early spring. Studies have indicated significant differences between strains of rhizobia in terms of crop growth and the development of acid tolerant strains have been critical for the production of faba bean on low pH soils. A high proportion of both pulses is exported; chickpea to the Indian sub-continent and faba bean to the Middle-East. To meet the requirements of consumers, the effects of the environment on quality are being studied and efforts made to overcome deficiencies through breeding.

Key words

Adaptation chickpea faba bean breeding yield germplasm phenology pulses diseases 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Agriculture Western AustraliaBentley Delivery CentreAustralia
  2. 2.Hermitage Research StationQueensland Department of Primary IndustriesWarwickAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Plant ScienceWaite Campus, University of Adelaide, PMB1Glen OsmondAustralia
  4. 4.The Tamworth Centre for Crop ImprovementNew South Wales AgricultureTamworthAustralia
  5. 5.Australian Cotton Research InstituteNew South Wales AgricultureNarrabriAustralia
  6. 6.Centre for Legumes in Mediterranean AgricultureUniversity of Western AustraliaNedlandsAustralia

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