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Australian scientists create a new, superior faba bean variety

faba bean

University of Sydney scientists have released a new faba bean variety called FBA Ayla, providing an improved faba bean for growers in the northern New South Wales and southern Queensland region. 

The faba bean is the second most important grain legume after the chickpea in the sub-tropical grain growing region of Australia. The University of Sydney has been breeding faba bean varieties for this region from its Plant Breeding Institute in Narrabri since 2010. 

Development of high-yielding and disease-resistant varieties with superior seed quality is the focus of the breeding program at the Institute. 

faba bean
Dr Kedar Adhikari. Image credit: University of Sydney.

The new variety was developed by the Faculty of Science’s Dr Kedar Adhikari, program leader and senior plant breeder at the Plant Breeding Institute, Narrabri; part of the Sydney Institute of Agriculture. 

“Farmers will benefit from growing FBA Ayla without any compromise in disease resistance and seed quality,” Adhikari said. 

The highlights of using the FBA Ayla include: 

  • High yielding across all faba bean growing areas of northern NSW and southern Queensland region 
  • It has out-yielded all current faba bean varieties by at least 4 to 5 per cent in both low and high yielding trial sites 
  • Rust resistance is similar to PBA Nanu which has slightly better rust resistance than the earlier released varieties 
  • Similar level of tolerance to bean leaf roll virus, a significant disease in the northern region 
  • Its uniform and superior seed size over PBA Warda will make it readily acceptable for marketing, while being a smaller seed than PBA Nasma will improve handling at seeding 
  • Its agronomic package is similar to growing other faba bean varieties and no extra care is needed for its cultivation. 

FBA Ayla is suggested as a replacement for PBA Warda and PBA Nasma. 

Limited quantity of seed will be available for commercial production in 2022 season from the commercial seed partner, Seednet. 

Faba bean breeding is a collaborative project with New South Wales Department of Primary Industries and the University of Adelaide and supported by the Grains Research and Development Corporation. 

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