Final conference of „PEASEMAKERS” Project (IPA cross-border cooperation programme Serbia-Hungary 2015-2016) was held on 16 June 2016 in Novi Sad with the slogan „Good neighbours creating common future“. The full title of the financed Project is “An interdisciplinary research on the past and present of legumes for a higher and sustainable protein production to the benefit of both Pannonian and European farmers in the future”, and Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops, as the Project partner, has achieved a successful cooperation with the lead beneficiary – Biological Research Centre in Szeged.
The Project goal was to improve components of field pea forage and grain yield and quality, as well as to increase the tolerance to abiotic and biotic stresses, aiming at better farmers’ profit, multiple positive effects on the economy and benefits to the whole society. Development of the new field pea cultivars for different purposes (forage, grain, green manure) would give an answer to various challenges of contemporary agricultural production. One part of the research was focused on extension of alfalfa cultivation areal to marginal soils, as well as the development of early maturing soybean lines, which would contribute to the enlargement of arable areas under legumes in both Serbia and Hungary. All of the above would serve as a good example to other European countries.
Several activities were performed within the Project:
- Winter hardiness and early maturity of 17 field pea lines were evaluated in field conditions; the most important phenological stages of plant were monitored and economically most important traits of winter field pea were morphologically characterised. Tolerance to diseases and pests was tested, as well as the resistance to abiotic stress (low temperatures).
- Expedition to Prohor Pčinjski in south Serbia, successfully collected wild pea (Pisum elatius) populations, which will contribute to the further studies in the field of genetics.
- Seed composition of soybean and some pea genotypes was quantified using FT-NIR spectroscopy. Constructed calibration curves indicated a strong correlation between the content of the seed constituents quantified by conventional chemical methods and content obtained by FT-NIR methods. Cultivars of different origin and seed composition grown in different localities were used for the development of calibration curves, which allowed the analysis of new samples with different profiles. Further Project activities were focused on molecular analyses of the most important parameters of soybean, with an emphasis on protein content in order to connect phenotypic variability to the differences on molecular level.
- Variability of locus sequences for trypsin inhibitor was analysed in cultivars and wild relatives of peas, with an aim of developing markers that will allow separation of genotypes with different content of trypsin inhibitor.
- Genomics studies of model legume Medicago truncatula, as a potential donor for resistance gene to abiotic and biotic stress, were carried out by the Project partner, Biological Research Centre in Szeged.
Implementation of this Project enabled the procurement of the device for automatic determination of cellulose or its fractions ADF, NDF, and raw fibres, which will contribute to more efficient and precise analysis of plant material.
Two brochures were published within the Project: „The importance of field pea in the production of quality animal feed rich in proteins” and “Alfalfa – the queen of forage crops, a guide for successful production” in Serbian, Hungarian, and English languages. Brochures merge numerous results of long-term research at the Forage Crops Department and can be useful to all agronomists in practice and agricultural producers.
Four project conferences (two in Szeged and two in Novi Sad) presented the achieved results, and facilitated exchange of ideas and suggestions between partner institutions and members of the Project team.