WP 1 activities

  1. a. Producing and multiplying novel lucerne and pea germplasm, for multi-site phenotyping and selection work;
  2. b. Performing phenotyping and selection experiments on lucerne mapping populations and other material in agricultural and managed environments, under conditions of severe drought stress, salinity, sheep grazing, high temperatures, or competition with grasses;
  3. c. Assessing lucerne selection strategies with respect to selection environments and opportunities for combining the tolerance to different stresses;
  4. d. Performing phenotyping and selection experiments on pea mapping populations and other material in agricultural and managed drought-stress environments;
  5. e. Assessing pea selection strategies with respect to selection environments and evolutionary approaches that exploit selection under artificially-reproduced stress conditions (compared with single-seed descent selection);
  6. f. Providing lucerne and pea phenotyping data to be used, along with genotyping data, for exploring marker-assisted selection (MAS) strategies;
  7. g. Selecting stress-tolerant lucerne varieties and drought-tolerant pea varieties.

WP 2 activities

  1. a. Genotyping different mapping populations of lucerne and pea (mainly by SNP markers);
  2. b. Identifying quantitative trait loci (QTL) and devising MAS strategies (including genomic selection) for lucerne grown under severe drought, salinity, sheep grazing or competition with associated grasses;
  3. c. Identifying QTL and devising MAS procedures for pea grown in drought-prone environments (comparing the information from recombinant inbred lines with that from a bulk segregant analysis approach);
  4. d. Performing a final workshop, to disseminate the adopted molecular breeding techniques and discuss MAS perspectives among participants.

WP 3 activities

  1. a. Jointly evaluating various lucerne-grass and pea-cereal forage crops, their monocultures and other legume-based mixtures in different drought-prone agricultural environments, taking into account forage yield, forage quality and farmer-participatory data, in order to:
    1. i. optimizing lucerne-based and pea-based mixtures (with respect to legume plant type and the associated grass or cereal species);
    2. ii. comparing pea-based vs. common vetch- and narbon vetch-based mixtures;
    3. iii. comparing best annual vs. best perennial mixtures, and defining the preferable mixture in relation to climatic conditions and crop-livestock system.
  2. b. Performing a final workshop, to define optimal diets including lucerne- and pea-based forages and/or pea grain as a function of the animal species, product and production level. 
  3. c. Producing the electronic booklet "Guidelines for cultivation and use in animal feeding of lucerne- and pea-based forage and pea grain crops".

Contribution of partner institutions to WPs and project activities

The contribution of each partner to the project activities is summarized below (using partner abbreviations reported in the Participants section), along with the expected output of the activities.