The objectives of the Pulse Research Group Physiology Program is to investigate whole plant and field responses of crops, particularly pulse crops, to nutrient, water and weather.  To understand and improve yield formation in pulse crops in a warming climate.  To investigate and improve nitrogen fixation and nitrogen partitioning in pulse crop growth and yield.

Plan to achieve objectives

Crop Physiology is a modest sized program with one program leader (Dr Rosalind Bueckert), a technician and two graduate students.  Rosalind Bueckert has a collaborative project with Dr Lynne Seymour, University of Georgia, which investigates weather variables on yield response for historic yield records across the prairies.  Rosalind Bueckert, in collaboration with Pea Breeding, is also analyzing the pea variety trials for yield response to warmer weather patterns.  Graduate student Hossein Zakeri is investigating nitrogen partitioning in lentil, and graduate student Adil Choudhry is investigating various management strategies to control indeterminate growth in lentil.  Both students work on a collaborative project with Lentil Breeding and Soil Science.  Janet Pritchard is currently screening a commercial rhizobia collection to select for earlier nitrogen fixing combinations of inoculant and lentil.  She is also working with Rosalind Bueckert on screening 15 genotypes of faba bean to measure nitrogen accumulation and to develop a method to select for high nitrogen accumulating types (in collaboration with Faba Breeding).

Expected Outcomes

We expect to characterize the yield response of pea to temperature and rainfall, and to predict sensitive growth stages and yield response when certain weather occurs during specific stages.  We can identify what needs to be improved in future pea cultivars to better withstand a changing climate.  For lentil, we will have characterized nitrogen accumulation and nitrogen-related growth responses in this indeterminate crop in inoculated, non-inoculated or fertilized environments, so growers can manage crop growth for better earliness and yield.   The faba project outcome is two-fold: to provide information on the amount of nitrogen in faba stubble which will be available to succeeding crops in a rotation, and to screen for high nitrogen fixing and high nitrogen accumulating genotypes so Faba Breeding can supply good nitrogen accumulating varieties.

<p><span style="color: #212121; font-family: Helvetica, Arial; font-size: 13px;">Measuring biomass (above ground plant material biomass) in 6 varieties (ILL 7716, CDC Astrix, PI 490288 LSP, CDC Redcoat, CDC Cherry, ILL 9888) with a sample (micro plot -3 replicates) taken every two weeks. To correlate biomass with a volume estimate from UAV images.</span></p>
<p><span style="color: #212121; font-family: Helvetica, Arial; font-size: 13px;">This project intends to take flowering time related data on 122 lines of the LR-11 population. Plots will be grown at 2 locations (Rosthern and Sutherland) with each site having 3 replicates grown in a randomized block design.</span></p>
<p><span style="color: #212121; font-family: Helvetica, Arial; font-size: 13px;">One replicate. Looking at domestication traits. Opportunistic phenotyping based on what they see.</span></p>
<p><span style="color: #212121; font-family: Helvetica, Arial; font-size: 13px;">One rep in preston and 3 reps in field lab in pots. Looking at domestication traits. Opportunistic phenotyping based on what they see.</span></p>
<p><span style="color: #212121; font-family: Helvetica, Arial; font-size: 13px;">Studying shattering interspecific culinaris x orientalist. Known to be segregating. Found a QTL last year so we are looking to confirm.</span></p>
2012 to 2015
This group is involved in a wide range of biotechnology projects that accelerate the legume breeding process. Double-haploid technology has been achieved in both chickpea and field pea by the CDC group in collaboration with colleagues in France and Australia. Efforts are underway to adapt this technology to lentil. Improving efficiency and integrating these techniques into routine breeding programs to enhance genetic gain are important long-term goals.
2013 to 2015
The objectives of this study are to determine the effect of genotype and environment on iron bioavailability in a set of five pea varieties differing in phytate concentration using the Caco-2 mammalian cell bioassay, to determine whether iron bioavailability in field pea is heritable by evaluating recombinant inbred lines differing in phytate concentration using the Caco-2 mammalian cell bioassay, and to determine the effect of the pea low phytate trait on chicken performance and iron bioavailability in chicken.
2009 to 2012
The first objective is to improve the nitrogen contribution of pulses to the rotation by assessing the nitrogen budget of faba bean, a crop likely to have greater nitrogen fixation and growth than pea and lentil. The second is to measure the biomass and nitrogen content of a range of faba genotypes and cultivars. The third objective is to assess the nitrogen fixation ability of faba genotypes by shoot N metabolism under typical dryland prairie conditions and controlled stress conditions, and develop a specific amino-acid screening method to screen for high N fixation. We intend to use the results to screen a wider range of germplasm for improving future varieties.
2006 to 2011
In this research, we plan to investigate how lentil indeterminacy can be managed by four strategies. The first is to test if lentil maturity can be controlled by soil N supply in zero tillage and conventional tillage soils. The second is to test if a desiccant at low concentrations can trigger senescence and maturity under high N conditions. The third strategy is to test if nine lentil genotypes that are commercially grown vary in N uptake, N fixation, or N redistribution within the plant during reproductive growth. Finally, the fourth strategy is to identify earlier establishing and earlier senescing rhizobia strains so N fixation will only occur up to mid-reproductive growth. Together, all these strategies will give us a detailed understanding of how N is partitioned in lentil in order to have satisfactory crop maturity.
2009 to 2011
A detailed analysis of pea, spring wheat and canola and other praririe crops is part of a current collaboration (2009-2011) with Dr Lynn Seymour, Department of Statistics, University of Georgia, USA. The aim of this project is to explore and relate the variability in yields for Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba crop districts to 30 years of weather. The objectives are to identify the effect of changed weather on crop adaptation, identify the threshold temperatures and rainfall requirement for stable yield, and develop a strategy for improving future cultivars to keep pace with climate change. At the cropping district level, researchers and growers will be able to connect how much change in yield for wheat, pea or canola will result when certain weather measurements deviate from monthly averages or extremes for the actual months within a cropping season. When we know how yield performs when several weather factors change together, we can change crop management accordingly, and we can provide future varieties that can tolerate a shifting climate.