INCREASE – Intelligent Collections of Food Legumes Genetic Resources for European Agrofood Systems

Lupin and common bean seed increase in Slovenia

The Agricultural Institute of Slovenia, one of the INCREASE partners, is currently trialling lupin and common bean on their fields and greenhouses. This is considered a unique opportunity to record the greatest diversity of the world's collections of field beans and lupins throughout the growing season in one and the same place. The plants are growing well and at the end of the growing season the team will collect as many seeds as possible to make them available for further analysis according to the requirements and objectives of the project. At the same time, a large amount of data is being generated by observing the plants in order to characterise them in as much detail as possible. This will allow for the exploration of the genetic potential of the genetic resources of interest and to exploit their diversity when improving them, e.g., in dedicated breeding programmes.

The expert team of the Institute is recording the traits of interest for both, lupins and common bean collections according to species-specific descriptors during vegetation. The data are collected three times a week. It is a particularly nice experience when entering the greenhouses where the lupins grow: the fresh summer scent of the flowers is very pleasant and refreshing which makes the data collection even nicer.

When looking at the particulars of the location, it came as a complete surprise that there were a lot of genetic resources which are not adapted to central European growing conditions. Those plants did not flower, nor did they develop any pods. Some of the plants were also lost during the vegetation due to combination of biotic stresses such as viruses, bacteria, fungi and abiotic stresses such as drought or extreme temperatures.

Once the international INCREASE team brings together the results from these field trials, the assessed genetic resources of legumes will be made available for the European agro-food systems.

You can find more pictures of the activities carried out by the Agricultural Institute of Slovenia on the INCREASE social media: