Wednesday 17 January 2007

Perennial forms of Washington lupin for effective use in Finland

Is the perennial lupin a weed, a invasive plant or a valuable plant?
Our answer is here in the following paper.

Perennial forms of Washington lupin (L. polyphyllus Lindl.) for effective use in Finland

Boguslav Kurlovich, Peter Earnshaw and Matti Varala

Perennial, multifoliate or Washington lupin (Lupinus. polyphyllus Lindl.), widely distributed in Finland, Poland, Belarus, Russia and other countries, was introduced into Europe as an ornamental plant and for green manure production purposes.

Here the natural populations of different perennial lupins were generated on the edges of woods and fields, on roadsides , and in parks and on the sites of former manors. It is very hard to remove wild lupin plants from the fields, as lupin has a potent assemblage of rootlets. This has allowed some experts to classify this plant as a malicious weed. But they do not know how to get rid of it. On this basis many ecologists consider it more expedient to cultivate only native indigenous plants in the Nordic countries , thus overlooking the fact that the potato, sunflower, maize and other valuable plants were introduced from the American continent, as were lupins.

We consider, as it is already practically impossible to eradicate perennial lupin from nature, it needs to be used effectively!

It can be cultivated on low-fertile sandy and acid soils, unprofitable for cultivating other crops. Under such conditions it can be grown and harvested for 4 to 6 years providing a yield of green mass up to 40-50 t/ha with 18-20% of protein (percent of dry matter).
However, this « barrel of honey contains a spoonful of tar». We mean the bitter alkaloids which render wild lupin not inedible for domestic animals.

But now fodder (low alkaloidal or sweet) forms of this lupin species have been created!

This species of lupin has received the status of high-grade fodder crop as a result.

To avoid restoration of alkaloid synthesis in cross-pollinated species of lupin, a new approach has been developed on the basis of specific crossing. Only compatible forms are involved in hybridization, with their low alkaloid content controlled by one and the same genetic system. These approaches have allowed transformation of this bitter weed into a valuable fodder crop.
(The description of the developed methods is described in the following Post!)

Therefore, the introduction of perennial fodder (sweet) multifoliate Washington lupin into agricultural production will potentially allow a significant increase of soil fertility, production of protein-rich fodder and, consequently increased animal production. In the conditions of Northwest Russia positive results from the use of the sweet commercial variety of L. polyphyllus Lindl. «Pervenec» (first sweet variety), which is included in the State Catalogue of selection achievements of Russia.
Now breeding of sweet varieties of Perennial forms of Washington lupin is carried out in Finland.
The developed methods may also be applied to other cross-pollinated lupin species such as L. mutabilis Sweet, L. nootkatensis Donn., L. arboreus Sims., L. perennis L., L. elegans H.B.K., L. hartwegii Lindl. and other forms promising for agricultural production.

Perennial forms of Washington lupin (L. polyphyllus Lindl.) was widely popularized by Russian Academician Pryanishnikov (1931, 1962) who recommended this plant as the best source of green manure and it was advertised by Prof. G.Hill as the source of various forages and as a flower plant in New Zealand (Hill, 1988, 1994; Hill and Tesfaye, 1994). He proved that for reclamation of soils, especially poor in organic substances, it is necessary to apply sideral fertilizer, which not only improves soil properties but also raises efficiency of mineral fertilizers (Malygin, 1969). At present, when low-alkaloid (sweet) forms of lupins have been discovered, the prospect of complex utilization of this perennial species of lupin for fodder production, for green manure, in horticulture and in other fields seems quite promising.
Perennial multifoliate lupin (L. polyphyllus Lindl.) is a long-lived, multi-branching and leafy semi-shrub, 1.0 – 1.5 m in height. The natural populations of this species were generated in Finland and Russia on edges of woods and fields, on roadsides, and also in parks and on the sites of former manors. Its root system is strongly branched: separate roots reach a considerable depth. Every year buds are formed on the main stem and root collar, from which leaves and tall branch stems terminate in elongated flowering heads. Color of flowers is mainly dark blue, however they may include red, white and other shades.
Perennial types of lupins, and particularly multifoliate or ‘Washington lupin’ (Lupinus polyphyllus Lindl.), present a major interest for agricultural production. It can be grown for fodder and seed in countries with limited agricultural resources and a vegetation period insufficient for other lupin species, for example in Finland, and other northern countries.
Lupinus polyphyllus Lindl. provides a high yield of green mass during the period of acute deficiency in protein availability for livestock when other fodder crops have not ripened. Its green mass can be used efficiently not only as green fodder, but also for silage, hay and vitamin grass flour. The seeds ripen before the harvest of cereals.
In terms of green mass production, Washington lupin is in no way inferior and sometimes superior to clover and alfalfa. The lower is the soil fertility, the more obvious is the advantage of lupin as compared to the above mentioned forages.
Washington lupin can be successfully used as a means of increasing fertility of poor sandy soils, as it can enrich the soil with 250 to 300 kg/ha of nitrogen per annum. It can also be used to control soil erosion, especially in mountainous regions.

It is time for an introduction of this crop in Finland!

Features of cultivation of sweet Washington lupin for seed production.
Multifoliate lupin is a crop with specific requirements connected with its biological features. Non-observance of them results in a decrease of productivity, and sometimes in a complete failure. It is especially sensitive to the conditions of cultivation in the first year of life. On rapidly drying sandy soils where lupin is usually cultivated, long absence of precipitation results in severe loss of plant density. On heavy clay soils poor emergence can occur.
When suffering from lack of moisture, multifoliate lupin does not transfer superfluous moisture efficiently. In the process of development of the root system into the deeper layers of soil, lupin is less dependent on soil and climatic conditions than many other species. It also generally requires less of the soil nutrients. Lupin supplies itself with nitrogen from the activity of nodule bacteria, while potassium and phosphorus are acquired from deep-situated layers of soil with the help of its powerful root system. As with other leguminous crops, it consumes twice the potassium as it does phosphorus, and is intolerant of surplus of lime. It is necessary to plan that multifoliate lupin grows on one place for 4 – 6 years. In this connection, it is most expedient to place it on special sites. The best ground for this culture is sandy soils with mildly acid reaction (рН 5.5 – 6.5). It is not advised to plant multifoliate lupin on recently limed areas. Non-observance of this requirement can result in failure, as the plants of lupin react negatively to lime. It is necessary to apply the recommended rate of potassium and phosphatic fertilizers (К 80-120, Р б0-80 kg /ha) before sowing. The site is then harrowed and rolled.
The seeds of
multifoliate lupin begin to sprout at a temperature of +2 – +30 C. Earliest shoots emerge at autumn or winter sowing at these temperatures. Lupin is very sensitive to the depth of sowing, which should not exceed 3 cm. Seeds will sprout even from the surface of the ground. Freshly harvested seeds are unable to sprout for some time, as they remain dormant. Their germination rate rises during 2 – 5 months after harvest in natural conditions. Thermal heating can considerably reduce this period.
The species has a property of grain hardness. At spring sowing with non-scarified seeds germination is uneven. Most seed does not germinate, even in months. It has been determined that seeds of lowest moisture content are the hardest. In this context scarification of seed is regarded as a mandatory method, especially at spring sowing. The best for spring sowing are scarified seeds provided by seed nurseries. However, in this instance the year is lost, as the majority of plants would only form bushes and develop a powerful root system, but during the period of vegetation they neither blossom, nor fructify. Only individual summer forms achieve in one year such complete maturity. More effective are autumn and even winter sowing, when fresh-cut seeds are subjected to air thermal heating without scarification. With the influence of low temperatures and humidity of the autumn, winter and spring periods, the shoots occur early in spring and seeds ripen by autumn. The summer sowing gives the worst results as the plants have no time to root and many of them do not survive the winter. In summary, perennial multifoliate lupin is best sown in the early spring or late autumn. Seeding rate depends on row spacing. At wide-row sowing (450 or 700 mm) it requires 8 – 10 kg / ha, with a distance of 4-6 cm between seeds in rows. In commercial production, with a sufficient supply of seeds, the seeding rate can be increased to 20 – 30 kg / ha. At conventional row spacing (140-180 mm) it requires 50 – 60 kg / ha. Perennial multifoliate lupin has high coefficient of duplication (from 1:100 up to 1:300), and these equations help to solve the problem of accelerated multiplication of new cultivars simply enough.
Flowering occurs usually in the second year from late May to early June, while maturing of seeds is observed in July till early August. This is much earlier than winter rye and summer grain cultivars. Populations of multifoliate lupin are non-uniform and the flowering and maturing of individual plants within the limits of a population vary widely. Maturing of seeds occurs at regular intervals in the flowering head. Shattering of pods occurs approximately 8 – 10 days after complete maturity. Either two-phase harvesting, or direct combining can be carried out depending on the ratio of the ripened and still ripening pods. It is necessary to note that unripe seeds harvested directly by a combine are, as a rule, unsuitable for sowing because of low germinating rate. At the same time, it is possible to receive positive results by separate two-phase harvesting. Unripe pods on the top of the flowering head ripen within several days in dry weather darken and become quite mature. Such seeds have a high germination rate. In very dry and hot weather, when seeds ripen rapidly in more or less regular intervals, it is possible to apply direct once-over harvest by combine. It should begin when unripe green pods remain only at the top of the cluster. The middle and the bottom part are quite ripe and begin to shatter. Under favorable conditions, perennial multifoliate lupins yield 1.0 – 1.6 t/ha.
Fodder low-alkaloid multifoliate Washington lupin is a perennial entomophilous plant. In view of this, for efficient seed production it seems reasonable to establish a special nursery for a term of many years, and to remove wild bitter lupin plants from the adjacent area. In the first year, all plants in the nursery need to be tested for the presence of alkaloids by pressing leaves and petioles against alkaloid-sensitive paper. All identified bitter plants should be removed before blossoming. Subsequently, such a nursery will satisfy the demand for seed for many years on greater areas.

Features of cultivation of sweet Washington lupin for fodder production purposes.

The majority of agro technical requirements for cultivation of Washington lupin as forage are the same either for green manure or for seeds. The conventional (140-180 mm) row spacing developed for cereals is used for sowing of lupin in this case. Recommended seeding rate of seeds is 45 kg / ha. Harvest for fodder purposes (first mowing) will be carried out during phases of budding and flowering of the plants. After mowing, it is expedient to apply phosphorous and potassium fertilizers (10-20 kg equivalent of each element). This promotes the faster re-growth of the plants. During the summer it is possible to recover two harvests of green mass. The production of green weight of Washington lupin for the two cuts has been found in research by VIR to be on the average 60,2 t/ha over 3 years. The first cut averages 39,1 t/ha and the second 21,1 t/ha. The correct planting and management of lupin can thus provide a high yield of green fodder over 4 – 6 years. At the same time the fertility of the site under lupin is increased thanks to the nitrogen-fixing activity of Bradyrhizobium sp. (Lupinus).It is necessary to note that after plowing of old plantations of multifoliate lupin early in spring or autumn, the dormant buds emerge early on the roots of plants which produce too many seedlings which can survive to the next year. It is best to carry out the plowing of lupin in the beginning of a summer, in the early phase of flowering of the plants. The young buds are dormant at this time.
This species of lupin can be used as well as a pascual plant (for grazing).

Cultivation and utilization of perennial multifoliate lupin for green manure.

There are different ways for utilization of perennial multifoliate lupin. They include: so-called moving form, reclamation of long-abandoned infertile land and sowing lupin with a companion crop and plowing in for the subsequent crop.
As a primary method of utilization of lupin, green matter is grown on one site, mown and transferred to another one, which needs to be developed and fertilized. Usually two mowings are made during a season. Commonly used are poor infertile grounds unsuitable for other crops, on which lupin will begin to grow. Sowing recommended in this case is without a cover crop, as its efficiency rises considerably after the first year. Perennial multifoliate lupin occupies a field for several years in this case. Cutting is carried out no later than full flowering; otherwise the second mowing will give insignificant dry matter. The first mowing is spread as fertiliser on a fallow field prior to sowing of winter crops. The second one is scheduled in autumn for potatoe and vegetable crops of the following year. The efficiency of a site under lupin strongly depends on soil conditions and fertilizers. The first mowing of lupin in the second year of life yields on the average about 25 t of green matter per hectare on light sandy soils. The second mowing yields much less and depends very much on meteorological conditions of the year. From the third year onwards the harvest of green matter at the first mowing would achieve 35 – 40 t and even 50 t/ha. Yields can be much higher on easily worked loamy soils. Each spring the plantation should be harrowed. On sandy soils it is possible to use one site for three or four years. Afterwards it will grow too thin and should be plowed up. Plowing is to be carried out in the end of spring or in early summer when lupin plants enter the flowering phase and viability of dormant buds expires. This would prevent the site from severe contamination in the next year. The most suitable subsequent crop is potato. The advantage of the so-called moving use of lupin as fertilizer is that the ground of the fertilized site is neither overdried, nor choked with growing young lupin plantlets.
Reclamation of long-fallow land involves restoring the fertility of poor soils and waste grounds. Lupin is grown on them for 3 – 4 years or more, then the land is plowed and made suitable for cultivation of other crops. Fertility of poor soils is restored best when perennial lupin is not mown for several years. However, it often happens that green matter harvested from a site under lupin is also used to fertilize other fields or that the crop is left standing in the field to increase plant density and seed yield. So, a site with lupin can be utilized for diverse purposes.
Agronomic requirements for creation of long-fallow land are the same as for cultivation of green manure. It is necessary to apply mineral fertilizer under lupin, harrow the crop every spring, and so on. When green matter is mowed on a long-fallow land, mowing should be accomplished no later than in August, so that lupin has enough time to collect nutrient substances before winter.
Lupin can be sown with a companion crop, eg barley or oats. In this case, perennial lupin is sown together with summer grain crops (barley or oats) and plowed in for green manure in the second year of life in May/June when the plants reach their flowering phase. A fertilized field can afterwards be used for planting vegetables, potatoes or winter crops. This method is efficient because lupin by itself does not occupy a field and no special treatment of soil is required. In this way lupin functions as a high value natural fertiliser.


Are perennial lupins weeds or valuable cultivated plants?

We consider, that L. polyphyllus Lindl. and interspecies hybrids between different species of lupins have the highest potential in Nordic countries and in Finland especially in future as a cultivated plants!
Our book about lupins: «Lupins: geography, classification, genetic resources and breeding» it is possible to read on the Internet here, and also here!
Gasid is one of the first italian companies to care about the distribution of LUPIN, promoting the consumption of this product -

Tuesday 16 January 2007



Kurlovich, B.S. and Heinänen, J.

International North Express Co, Finland

The aim of the work was to develop methods to create fodder (sweet) varieties of Lupinus polyphyllus Lindl, with stable, low levels of alkaloids. New approaches were developed with the specific intention of avoiding the rapid restoration of alkaloid synthesis in this cross-pollinated lupin species. We created sweet forage varieties of multifoliate lupin with sufficiently stable and low alkaloid content. Positive results were demonstrated with the first sweet commercial cultivar Pervenec, which was listed in the State Catalogue of Breeding Achievements in Russia. The major tasks carried out in Finland since 1996 were the breeding of cultivars with stable low alkaloid content, different types of pollination, non-dehiscent pods, winter hardiness and frost tolerance, capable of producing high yields of green matter (40 - 50 Mg ha-1) and maintaining the shading of cover crops. One of our purposes of Washington lupin breeding in Finland is to create productive sweet forms with white flowers and seeds analogous to white flowered and white seeded varieties of narrow-leafed lupin (L. angustifolius L.) in Australia.

Key words:Alkaloids, allelic and complementary tests, cross-pollination, L. polyphyllus Lindl., methods of breeding, low alkaloid (sweet) lupin.

Perennial Washington lupin (L. polyphyllus Lindl.), widely distributed in Belarus, Finland, Russia, Poland and other countries, was introduced into Europe as an ornamental plant and for the production of green manure. Natural populations of this species are found at the edges of woods and fields, along roadsides, and in parks and on the sites of former manors. It was widely popularized by Academician Pryanishnikov (1962) who recommended this plant as the best source of green manure. It was also championed by G. Hill as a source of forage and as an ornamental plant in New Zealand (Hill, 1994; Hill and Tesfaye, 1994). These researchers demonstrated that it is necessary to apply green manure for the reclamation of soils with low organic matter content. This practice not only improves soil properties but also raises the efficiency of mineral fertilizers. Perennial types of lupin, particularly L. polyphyllus can be grown for fodder and seed in countries with limited agricultural resources. Examples are the northwest areas of Russia (Kurlovich et al., 1995), Finland, (Aniszewski, 1993) and other far northern countries. When low-alkaloid (sweet) forms of L. polyphyllus are produced, the prospect seems quite promising for the complex utilization of this perennial species of lupin for fodder production and green manure in horticulture and in another fields. The obstacles connected with the creation of fodder (sweet) varieties of this species for different countries are discussed.

Material and Methods

Research material was obtained from the lupin collection of the N.I. Vavilov Institute of Plant Industry (VIR), where 150 accessions of L. polyphyllus from 8 countries are stored. Many years (1973-1996) of observing the lupin plants sown in various regions of many countries (Belarus, Russia, Finland, Ukraine, and Abkhazia) and the use of special methods developed by us and the N.I.Vavilov Institute, which are applicable to lupin (Kurlovich et al., 1990), have enabled us to identify new sources of L. polyphyllus with high yield and a low alkaloid content: Belorusskkij 1, Borovlyanskij, Chernigovskij, Stodolishchenskij, and Dagestanskij.

However, bitter (high alkaloid) plants appeared in these accessions during our research. This may be due to the accessions containing different recessive alleles. Cross-pollination of these forms resulted in F1 heterozygotes with dominant alleles at all loci (AL1al1 AL2al2 AL3al3),thus leading to the restoration of alkaloid synthesis. To overcome the aforementioned problem, two approaches were developed: (1) selected low-alkaloid plants were crossed with each other and the progeny from each cross was grown separately. Populations consisting only of low-alkaloid plants were selected as initial material, and (2) every low-alkaloid plant was crossed with an alkaloid producing form, which had other valuable characters, and populations with stable, low-alkaloid levels were selected in the F2. We also studied the N-fixing ability of L. polyphyllus using new strains of bacteria developed at the Research Institute for Agricultural Microbiology (St. Petersburg - Pushkin, Russia).

Results and Discussion

To avoid the rapid restoration of alkaloid synthesis in cross-pollinated species of lupin, and in particular, in Washington lupin (L. polyphyllus Lindl.), new approaches were developed on the basis of specific crossing. The principal, distinctive feature of the approaches developed is that all initial sources of low alkaloid content, whether identified or bred, are not grown together and allowed to cross-pollinate as it was done earlier (Voronov, 1974). Only compatible forms are involved in hybridization, with their low alkaloid content controlled by the same genetic system. For the practical application of this approach, two methods were developed.

The first method of obtaining fodder (sweet) forms of L. polyphyllus involved the pairwise crossing of selected low-alkaloid plants and growing each progeny group in isolation. Populations consisting only of low-alkaloid plants were selected initially for breeding (Chekalin and Kurlovich, 1989). The second method consisted of crossing of low-alkaloid plants with productive high-alkaloid plants possessing other valuable characters. Populations with a stable, low alkaloid content were selected in the F2 (Kurlovich and Chekalin, 1992). By comparing the characteristics of the low-alkaloid forage lines produced by these methods we demonstrated that both are suitable for breeding low-alkaloid varieties. The drawback of the first method is that it is rather labor intensive because it required a large number of low-alkaloid plants, many of whom exhibited negative properties such as low productivity, susceptibility to diseases, etc.
The aim of the second method was to improve the process of obtaining high-yielding forms. Populations developed by the second method were higher yielding and resistant to Fusarium wilt. The productivity of these populations was practically the same as in the initial high-alkaloid forms.
Our goal in developing these breeding approaches was to create low-alkaloid populations without narrowing the genetic variability in the process. These methods also feature the absence of complementary interactions of non-allelic genes, which would restore high alkaloid content. However, in such fodder (sweet) crops as yellow, white and blue lupin, as well as in fodder low-alkaloid forms of multifoliate Washington lupin, bitter plants may appear from time to time as a result of reverse mutations or pollination of low-alkaloid (sweet) forms with the pollen of wild high-alkaloid plants. In all phases of seed production involving low-alkaloid forms of multifoliate Washington lupin, it is necessary to ensure strict spatial isolation between different samples. Furthermore, plants need to be tested for alkaloid level and high-alkaloid plants must be removed before flowering.

Because this perennial lupin species attracts insect pollinators, it seems prudent to establish permanent seed increase nurseries and to remove wild bitter lupin plants from adjacent areas. In the first year, all plants in the nursery need to be tested for the presence of alkaloids by pressing leaves and petioles against alkaloid-sensitive paper. All identified bitter plants should be removed before flowering. Subsequently, such a nursery will satisfy the demand for a substantial production of seeds for many years.
With these methods and the new sources mentioned above it is possible to produce sweet forage forms of multifoliate Washington lupin with sufficiently stable and acceptable low alkaloid levels. The forage cultivar Truvor was developed with this method and released in the Ukraine. The first commercial cultivar released from our own efforts was Pervenec. It is adapted to northwestern Russia and also listed in the State Catalogue of Breeding Achievements in Russia. Our major tasks in breeding multifoliate lupin in Finland since 1996 has been to produce types with stable low alkaloid content, different types of pollination (either cross- or self-pollinating), non-dehiscent pods, winter hardiness and frost tolerance. Improved cultivars should also have a yield potential in the order of 40 – 50 Mg green matter ha-1 and have the ability to shade out competing species. Individual group selection and step-by-step crossing were used to enable us to combine valuable characters and properties, dispersed between many initial forms, within one population.

One of our purposes in Washington lupin breeding in Finland is to create productive sweet forms with white flowers and seeds, analogous to white flowered and white seeded varieties of narrow-leafed lupin in Australia. The improved cultivars resulting from this approach represent a new stage in breeding and will be more competitive on the world market.
An important aspect of the successful lupin cultivation is inoculation with improved strains of Bradyrhizobium sp. (Lupinus). The best results were achieved when seed was treated with strain 1625 ((Kozhemyakov et al., 1992; Kurlovich et al., 2000). Growing lupins in areas where there had previously been no lupins cultivated demonstrated that inoculation is absolutely essential for successful lupin cultivation.

The breeding methods developed may also be applied to other cross-pollinating lupin species such as L. arboreus Sims., L. perennis L., L. nootkatensis Donn., L. elegans H.B.K., L. hartwegii Lindl., with promising prospects for agricultural production.

Literature Cited

Aniszewski, T. 1993. Lupin: a potential crop in Finland. Studies on the ecology, productivity and quality of Lupinus ssp. PhD thesis summary, Joensuuu, Finland, 50p.

Chekalin, N.M., and B.S. Kurlovich. 1989. The copyright certificate on the invention, SU1499737. Moscow.

Hill, G.D. and M. Tesfaye. 1994. The characterization of Russell lupins. pp. 73-76 IN J.M. Martins and M.L. Beirão da Costa (eds.). Advances in Lupin Research. Proc. of the 7th International Lupin Conference, Evora, Portugal, 18-23 April, 1993. ISA Press, Lisbon, Portugal. 1994.

Hill, G.D. 1994. The potential of perennial lupins for Grazing. pp. 435-444 IN J.M. Martins and M.L. Beirão da Costa (eds.). Advances in Lupin Research. Proc. of the 7th International Lupin Conference, Evora, Portugal, 18-23 April, 1993. ISA Press, Lisbon, Portugal, 1994.

Kozhemyakov, A.P., N.S. Ivanov and B.S. Kurlovich 1992. Efficiency of inoculation of fodder Lupinus polyphyllus Lindl. with nodule bacteria and root diazotrops. Research Bull. VIR, 220:3-5.

Kurlovich, B.S., N.S. Nazarova, V.A. Rybnicova, S.I. Pilipenko, L.T. Kartuzova, and F. T. Tarba. 1990. Study of Lupin Samples of World Collections (Methods of investigations, in Russian). VIR, St. Petersburg, Russia, 34p.

Kurlovich, B.S., and N.M. Chekalin. 1992. The copyright certificate on the invention, SU1767714, Moscow.

Kurlovich, B.S., M.V. Petrova, A.K. Stankevich, and L.T. Kartuzova. 1995. Lupin, Theoretical basis of plant breeding. pp. 9-122. IN B.S. Kurlovich and S.I. Rep’ev (eds.). The gene bank and breeding of grain legumes (lupine, vetch, soybean, and common bean), Vol.111. St. Petersburg, VIR, Russia.1995.

Kurlovich, B.S., L.T. Kartuzova, B.M. Cheremisov, T.A. Emeljanenko, I.A. Tikhonovich, A.P. Kozemyakov, and S.A. Tchetkova. 2000. Evaluation of the biological nitrogen-fixing ability of lupin (Lupinus L.). Plant Genetic Resources Newsletter 123:68-77.

Pryanishnikov, D.N. 1962. Lupin on service to socialist agriculture. pp 5-10. IN N.A. Majsurjan (ed.) Lupin, Moscow, Russia. 1962.

Voronov, A.T. 1974. Breeding of perennial fodder lupin. pp. .243-250. IN N.V. Turbin (ed.). Breeding, seed production and growing of lupin. Orel, Russia. 1974. (in Russian).



B.S. Kurlovich
International North Express Co., Fin-52420, Pellosniemi, Finland

Simo Hovinen

Boreal Plant Breeding, Fin-31600, Jokioinen, Finland


The purpose of this research was to study opportunities for breeding and cultivation of narrow-leafed lupin (Lupinus angustifolius L.) in Finland. The study was conducted with determinate cultivars and lines of nar­row-leafed lupin. Our research has shown that early forms of L. angustifolius are suitable for breeding and cultivation on sandy soils in the south of Finland. An important condition for successful growth of lupins is inoculation with Rhizobia, especially in regions where lupins are being cultivated for the first time.

Lupinus angustifolius L., determinate branching, heredity, eco-geographical conditions, GxE interaction.

Investigators and farmers in Finland have not shown an interest in growing annual lupin species given the location of the country, close to the Arctic Circle and the short plant growing season. Valle (1938, 1941), Pitkänen (1939), and Aniszewski (1993) showed that the cultivation of narrow-leafed lupin (L. angustifolius) and even yellow lupin (L. luteus L.) was possible in Finland in good seasons, on sandy soils. More opportunities for the cultivation of this crop have arisen from the breeding of earlier, determinate branching cultivars. The results of our studies on narrow-leafed lupin in Finland are presented in this paper.


The objective of this study was to investigate determinate branched cultivars and lines of narrow-leafed lupin: Ladny from Russia, Mut-1 from Poland, Lanedeks-1 and Pershatsvet from Belarus and early lines and hybrids created from them by as. Determi­nate cultivars were crossed with the indeterminate: Nemchinovsky 846 and Timir-1 from Russia, Mirela from Poland and Illyarie from Australia.
Before sowing all seed samples were checked for purity and were made into pure lines. All observations were made using the same methods (Kurlovich et al., 1995). Parental accessions and hybrids were tested at all sites at 30 plants m2. The focus of the investigation was the branching pattern, and the stability of the determinate growth habit at the different locations.
Only uniform, early lines were selected for the final stage of the research in Finland. They were from the F4-12. Four replicates were used for testing under Finnish conditions.
Over the different years the sowing date was from April 20 to May 15 and harvest dates ranged from August 20 to September 15.

All initial materials before breeding in Finland (cultivars and hybrids) were assessed from 1986 to 1998 on plots of 1-2 m2 in contrasting environments. In Russia, plants were spring sown near St. Petersburg on the experimental fields of the Pushkin Laboratories of VlR (Leningrad Province, 58 oN. on a sodic-podzolic soil; in the Ukraine in spring near Kiev (Ukrainian Scientific Research Institute of Arable Farming, about 50 ON in the non-black-soil zone, and in the autumn in the humid subtropics of Abkhazia (Gulripsh Settlement, former Sukhumi Experimental Station of VIR, at about 42 oN. Details of this work are given in Kurlowicz (1992); Kurlovich et al. (1995,2002) and Kurlovich and Ivanova (2000).

Parental lines and the most productive, early, stable hybrids were tested in spring sowings from 1995-2001 in Finland, near Pellosniemi (Mikkeli Province, 61 oN) on a sandy soil. Seed sown at Pellosniemi was inoculated with commercial strain 363A of Bradyrhizobium sp. (Lupinus) produced by the All-­Russian Research Institute of Agricultural Microbiology. Seven new strains of nodule bacteria developed by the All-Russian Research Institute for Agricultural Microbiology were tested in glass house experiments on two lupin varieties (Nemchinovsky 846 from Russia, and Yandee from Australia).


As a result of the hybridization stable, determinate lines of narrow-leafed lupin were selected. The total number of lines was 65 in the first stage of testing in Finland (1995-1997). Subse­quently the number of lines was reduced to 10 by rejection, death from plant diseases or failure to mature. The results of the testing in Finland (near Pellosniemi, about 61 oN) on a Sandy soil following seed inoculation with Bradyrhizobium sp. Lupinus are shown the positive results. The best selected lines were superior to the parents in both early maturity and productivity. Maturity of spring sown seed (May) of the best lines on sandy soils was the end of August to the beginning of September, before the autumn drop in temperature.

An important condition for successfully growing narrow-leafed lupin in Finland is inoculation with nodule bacteria, especially in regions where lupins are being cultivated for the first time.
In control plots (uninoculated) plants of all lines had no nodules. Frequently these plants were weaker and stunted. Plantings, which were inoculated with Bradyrhizobium sp. Lupinus, differed considerably from the control plants. The plants bad a greater number of smooth nodules between 2 and 7 mm in diameter and located evenly over their whole root system. The number of nodules present differed from plant to plant but all treated plants bore numerous nodules. The results show that inoculating plants with Bradyrhizobium sp. Lupinus in all cases lead to increased seed yield.
Seven new strains of nodule bacteria developed at the Institute of Agricultural Microbiology were tested in an additional greenhouse experiment. The strains were tested on two lupin varieties. The highest efficiency of symbiotic nitrogen fixation for the regionally adapted Russian cv. Nemchinovsky 846 was shown by the new strains 1604, 1630 and 1607 strains
of Bradyrhizobium lupini. With cv. Yandee, from Australia, the highest efficiency of nitrogen fixation was shown by strains 1604 and 1630. Their use gave a 1.5 to 2.0 fold increase in accumulation of total plant dry matter.
This work showed there were, significant differences in the response of the various lupin lines to inoculation with Bradyrhizobium sp. Lupinus. Most of the accessions were highly responsive to inoculation with commercial strains of Bradyrhizobium sp. Lupinus and these increased plant DM yield. The reduced effect of Bradyrhizobium sp. Lupinus on same of the accessions can be explained by a mismatch between the bacterial strain used and the plant genotype. Thus, it is important to create highly complementary symbiotic rela­tionships between the lupin plant and the bacteria to increase plant response to inoculation. This could be achieved by searching for new strains of nodule bacteria, which match specific lupin varieties, and by identifying plant genotypes, which are responsive to inoculation. Detailed information on this can be found in Kurlovich et al. (2000).

Boreal Plant Breeding, in Jokioinen, has tested cv. Pershatsvet, from Belarus for some years. The original aim was to grow 2 ha to obtain protein rich feed for pigs. The Agricultural Research Center located near Boreal Plant Breeding was inter­ested in obtaining a protein source for organic pig production. These investigations are ongoing….
Boreal Plant Breeding research established that cv. Pershatsvet did not grow well in the clay soils like those in Jokioinen.
Secondly, because the soils did not contain Rhizobial strains, which the lupins needed, seed must be inoculated with Rhizobium before sowing. The year 2001 was the first time lupins were grown on a lighter soil.

Weeds have been a problem in our lupin experiments. We cannot use a herbicide for weed control to grow organic lupins. Because cv. Pershatsvet is short, competitive weeds can cover the lupins and reduce seed yield.
Boreal Plant Breeding research has conformed that cv. Pershatsvet must be sown early in Finland because it is late maturing and growth can be limited in cool growing seasons.
Secondly, it must be grow on sandy soils. Animals like hare and roe deer eagerly eat the lupins. Our experiments have regularly been eaten and trials have been destroyed every year. In large areas, seed yield has varied from 1 to 2.5 Mg ha-1. The cv. Pershatsvet contains 0.03 % alkaloids and is thus a sweet lupin.
The results of our studies on determinate branching narrow-­leafed lupin -lines and cultivates suggest that the phenotypic expression of determinate branching is influenced by the geno­type, the environment and their interaction. Thus the contribution of these factors may differ in the different accessions. The most stable determinate branching was in the Ladny and Pershatsvet. The effect of the environment on determinate branching in these accessions was minimal. These accessions are being widely used for breeding in Belarus, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, and the Ukraine as a source of early-maturity, thermal and photoperiod stability.
Cv. Ladny and Pershatsvet have also potential for the growing conditions in Scandinavia. Their use in selection has allowed the creation of earlier genotypes that ripen even under conditions experienced in Finland. These genotypes are a potential valuable source for further selection In Finland.

These studies again have confirmed that in producing new cultivars of agricultural plants there is a need to select for the growing conditions of the crop. To produce lupin cultivars with broad ecological plasticity, use was made of initial genetic material, which showed stability under testing in contrasting environments. Eco-geographical investigations make it possible to create valuable material through hybridization of forms with different characters. This allows transgressive forms to be obtained in the character is expressed at a higher level than in the parental limes.

This work has shown, that early flowering, determinate branching forms of L. angustifolius are suitable for growing on the sandy soils in the south of Finland and possibly in other Scandinavian countries.

Because of this we believe it is expedient to start systematic breeding of narrow-leafed lupin in Finland. The cvs. Ladny, Pershatsvet and material created from them have potential for breeding for sub-Arctic conditions. For successful growing it is important to inoculate the seed with Rhizobium, especial1y in regions where lupin are being cultivated for the first time.

We consider, that narrow-leafed lupin have the highest potential in Nordic countries and in Finland especially in future as a valuable cultivated plants!


Aniszewski, T. 1993. Lupine: a potential crop in Finland. Studies on the ecology, productivity and quality of Lupinus ssp. PbD thesis summary, Joensuuu, 50p.

Kurlovich, B.S., and O. Ivanova. 2000. Genetic and environmental influences on branching in narrow-leafed lupin (Lupinus angustifolius L.). The International Academy Vestnik:, (April 2000), St-Petersburg,5:4-13.

Kulovich, B.S., S.I. Rep'ev, L.G. Shchelko, V.I. Budanova, MY. Petrova, T.Y. Buravtseva,AK Stankevich, L.T. Kartuzova, T.G. Alexandrova, T.E. Teplyakova, andL.K Malysh. 1995. Theoreti­cal basis of plant breeding. Vol 111. The gene bank and breeding of grain legumes (lupine, vetch, soya and bean), St Petersburg, VIR, 438p.

Kurlovich, B.S., L.T. Kartuzova, B.M. Cheremisov, T.A. Emeljanenko, L.A. Tikhonovich, A.P. Kozemyakov, and S.A. Tche1kova. 2000. Evaluation of the biological nitrogen-fixing ability of lupin (Lupinus L.). Plant Genetic Resources Newsletter, Rome, Italy, 123: 68-77.

Kurłowicz, B.S. 1992. Dziedziczenie się cechy determinującei spocób rozgałęziania się u łubinu wąskolistnego (Lupinus angustifolius L.). Mater. konf. "Genetika 2000". Krakow, 1992. S.106, (on Polish).

Pitkänen, E. 1939.Lupiinien viljelystä. Helsigin yliopisto. Tutkielma.

Vale, O. 1938. Tammistossa suoritetuista ymppäyskokeista. Lupiinikokeet Siemenjulkaisu. Tammisto.

Vale, O. 1941. Sininen ja keltainen rehulupiini. Karjatalous, 4:1-7.

This article is published in full with figures and tables in:
Proceedings of 10 International Lupin Conference
Wild and Cultivated Lupuns From the Tropics to the Poles”, Laugarvarth, Iceland, 19-24 June 2002, p.56-58.

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