Public-private partnership is one new model of centreless or networked governance that has emerged in recent years. This article examines the development and use of partnerships in the management and funding of public pulse breeding programs. The paper evaluates the theory of innovation and knowledge management and uses case study and social network analysis to examine the nature and strength of the international public pulse breeding system and analyzes in detail the three major national public pulse breeding systems in Australia, the US and Canada. Australia appears to have the most developed system of public-private partnerships, centred on the Grains Research Development Corporation and, CLIMA. Canada lacks a centralized national body such as the GRDC, but possesses a regional system centred on a university research centre (the Crop Development Centre) and a hybrid organization (the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers). The US is remarkable for the lack of any significant public-private partnerships in public pulse breeding.