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Agronomy 2017, 7(1), 1; doi:10.3390/agronomy7010001

The Current Status, Problems, and Prospects of Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) Breeding in China

1
Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Ecosystems, College of Pratacultural Science, Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou 730070, Gansu, China
2
Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Private Bag 105 Hamilton, Victoria 3300, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: John W. Forster
Received: 23 September 2016 / Revised: 3 November 2016 / Accepted: 3 November 2016 / Published: 1 January 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [433 KB, uploaded 1 January 2017]   |  

Abstract

This paper reviews the current status, methodology, achievements, and prospects of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) breeding in China. There are 77 cultivars that have been registered in the country, these include 36 cultivars bred through breeding programs, 17 introduced from overseas, 5 domesticated from wild ecotypes, and 19 through regional collection/breeding programs. Cultivars have been selected for cold resistance, disease resistance, salt tolerance, grazing tolerance, high yield, and early maturity. Most of these cultivars have been developed through conventional breeding techniques, such as selective and cross breeding, and some are now being evaluated that have been developed through the application of transgenic technology. The major problems for alfalfa breeding in China include low success rate, slow progress to breed resistant varieties, lack of breeding materials and their systematic collection, storage and evaluation, lack of advanced breeding techniques, and low adoption rate of new cultivars. There are gaps in alfalfa breeding between China and the developed world. Improvement of alfalfa breeding techniques, development of cultivars with adaptations to different regions within China, and the protection and utilization of alfalfa germplasm resources have been identified as major strategies to improve the efficiency of alfalfa breeding in China. View Full-Text
Keywords: China; alfalfa; varieties; breeding; selection; Medicago sativa L. China; alfalfa; varieties; breeding; selection; Medicago sativa L.
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Shi, S.; Nan, L.; Smith, K.F. The Current Status, Problems, and Prospects of Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) Breeding in China. Agronomy 2017, 7, 1.

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