School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences
Biological Sciences| Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences| Medical and Health Sciences
Dr Surya Bhattarai, Professor Kerry Walsh, Associate Professor Daniel Cozzolino
Doctor of Philosophy

Research Details

Thesis Name

Characterisation of morphological, physiological and biochemical traits for drought tolerance and rainfed adaptation of selected legumes and Rhizobium strains.

Thesis Abstract

I. Systematic evaluation of crop drought tolerant on selected grain legume germplasm. II. Assessment of physiological, morphological and biochemical traits conferring greater water use efficiency of grain legume species. III. Improving understanding of genotypes x environmental interactions of different Rhizobium strains for nitrogen fixation on variable soil moisture and soil nitrogen environments. IV. Optimising agronomy for commercial production of the rainfed legume.

Why my research is important/Impacts

Because of severe and frequent episodes of drought stress conditions, grain legume crops such as Chickpea which is cultivated in semi-arid and Mediterranean regions of the world is experiencing decline in production. Under stress conditions marked morpho-physiological changes took place. The legume crops are primarily grown as rotation crops with cereals and industrial crops such as sugarcane and cotton because of their role in nitrogen fixation and breaking disease cycle. Due to the diverse roles played by grain legume crops in farming systems and nutritional security, the research on legume crops will have significant impacts on nutritional security and sustainable soil fertility. Generally, legumes are considered as the best suited for drought stressed conditions because of their nitrogen fixation potential associated with various Rhizobia strains (Faria et al., 1989; Daryanto et al., 2015), which contributes to enhanced productivity (Sainju et al., 2005). Besides this special character, these crops have great nutritional values as they are an excellent source of unsaturated fatty acids including oleic and linoleic acids, micronutrients (potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus etc.), vitamins including vitamin C, B, iron etc. (Jukanti et al., 2012). Expansion of grain legumes creates significant pressure on agricultural water. Developing water use efficient varieties and agronomy for central and northern Australian rainfed farming system will offer the opportunity for future expansion of legume crop areas with sustainable yield and quality. This project will build the basis for longer term research collaboration between CQUnviersity and GC Women University, Pakistan.


PhD Stipend Scholarship funded by AgriVentis Technologies Pty Ltd and International Excellence Award - Tuition fee scholarship funded by CQUniversity Rockhampton.


AgriVentis Technologies Pty Ltd