Sustainable agriculture boosted in new ARC Research Hub

21 May 2015

The University of Sydney will play home to one of four multimillion-dollar Australian Research Council (ARC) Industrial Transformation Research Hubs announced by Education Minister Christopher Pyne.

The ARC Research Hub for Legumes for Sustainable Agriculture, to be led by Associate Professor Brent Kaiser, will provide Australian growers and industry with improved plant materials to maximise production, environmental sustainability and profitability.

As a result of the $3.97 million ARC grant, the centre will aim to increase food production and maintain legume productivity against the challenges of climate change.

"It is pleasing to see the recognition of this outstanding research, which will be instrumental in guaranteeing the future prosperity of Australian agriculture," said Dr Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney.

"Our researchers are leading the world in addressing the global food security challenge, and are at the forefront of developing options to produce food in an ecologically sustainable manner.

"As the mission of the ARC Research Hub for Legumes for Sustainable Agriculture suggests, continued funding for Australian research and innovation is vital to the future of our country."

Based in the University's Centre for Carbon, Water and Food, the research hub will focus on improving the nitrogen delivery capacity of legumes and their resilience to abiotic stress, which is becoming an increasingly important consideration as a result of climate change.

Grain legumes are often grown by farmers in rotation with cereal crops for their high nutritional seed value and their unique ability to develop a self-sufficient nitrogen-fixing symbiosis with soil bacteria.

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