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Pulse ideotypes for abiotic constraint alleviation in Australia

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-02-21, 01:11 authored by S Rao, V Silva-Perez, Roger ArmstrongRoger Armstrong, AT Tefera, J Brand, P Riffkin, G Rosewarne
Background: Pulses are cultivated across a range of soil and climatic conditions that often have many abiotic constraints to production. Whilst water stress has been identified as the greatest constraint in Australian pulse cultivation, other limitations include heat, frost, nutrient deficiency, and a variety of soil physiochemical constraints. Several studies on various pulses have examined shoot and root architecture and their ability to mitigate specific abiotic constraints. However, these studies have been conducted independently of each other, and there is a lack of amalgamated information combining both shoot and root responses that can address production constraints. Scope: This review examines the shoot and root system architecture of key pulses used for human consumption grown in Australia including chickpea, lentil, faba bean, field pea and lupin; and where possible it provides a comparison with relevant research from other crops, especially cereals. It examines research conducted on adaptations to drought, waterlogging, temperature extremes, soil chemical toxicities and high soil strength. Conclusion: The review utilises a physiological framework to identify trait combinations that define theoretical ideotypes of pulse crops that would be better able to mitigate abiotic constraints currently limiting Australian pulse productivity. This framework can be extended directly to other similar environments globally or be used to develop new ideotypes that are better adapted to a wider range of regions within Australia.


This research was funded by Victorian Grains Innovation Partnership Project 1B in a collaboration between Agriculture Victoria and the Grains Research Development Corporation.


Publication Date



Plant and Soil






Springer Nature



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