Muhammad Munir Iqbal
Thesis: Genetics of adaptation of yellow lupins to dryland conditions
Yellow lupin (YL) was identified as a promising crop for wodjil (acidic, sandy) soils of the low rainfall agricultural areas, and areas of the central eastern wheat belt. The adaptation of lupin to dryland conditions is primarily a function of crop phenology and drought response. There is a need to explore the genetic potential of lupins which can significantly tolerate the terminal drought stress without any compromise on biomass and finally on pod and seed yield. The understanding of crop’s response to terminal drought i.e. whether YL has any genetic variation for drought stress response or just rely on drought escape will help in designing further breeding strategies for crop improvement. The aim of this study is to develop the first genetic map of the Yellow lupin genome using new genome sequence information and to develop new molecular markers to assist in breeding of improved cultivars for yellow lupin growers.
Why my research is important
Most lupin genomic research so far has mainly focused on the narrow leafed lupin (NLL). Little or no genomic resources have been directed towards yellow lupin (YL). The lack of genomic investment threatens to further marginalize this neglected crop species by failing to provide valuable marker tools, which are indispensable in modern breeding programmes. No genomic studies for drought and phenology have been conducted previously on yellow lupin. This is the first study of its kind in yellow lupin. Developing marker resources of yellow lupin would also be useful for marker-assisted transfer of useful alleles from YL into NLL via interspecific crossing.