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

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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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)591-599
Number of pages9
JournalPlant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


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