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Agriculture 2015, 5(2), 353-366; doi:10.3390/agriculture5020353

Variation in Response to Moisture Stress of Young Plants of Interspecific Hybrids between White Clover (T. repens L.) and Caucasian Clover (T. ambiguum M. Bieb.)

Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences, Aberystwyth University, Gogerddan, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion SY233EE, UK
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Cory Matthew
Received: 26 April 2015 / Revised: 3 June 2015 / Accepted: 16 June 2015 / Published: 19 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forage Plant Ecophysiology)
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Abstract

Backcross hybrids between the important forage legume white clover (Trifolium repens L.), which is stoloniferous, and the related rhizomatous species Caucasian clover (T. ambiguum M. Bieb), have been produced using white clover as the recurrent parent. The effect of drought on the parental species and two generations of backcrosses were studied in a short-term glasshouse experiment under three intensities of drought. Plants of Caucasian clover maintained a higher leaf relative water content and leaf water potential than white clover at comparable levels of drought, with the response of the backcrosses generally intermediate between the parents. Severe drought significantly reduced stolon growth rate and leaf development rate of white clover compared to the control, well-watered treatment, whilst differences between these two treatments in the backcross hybrids were relatively small. The differences between parental species and the backcrosses in root morphology were studied in 1m long vertical pipes. The parental species differed in root weight distribution, with root weight of Caucasian clover significantly greater than white clover in the 0.1 m to 0.5 m root zone. The backcrosses exhibited root characteristics intermediate between the parents. The extent to which these differences influence the capacity to tolerate drought is discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: white clover; interspecific hybrids; drought; leaf development rate; root weight distribution white clover; interspecific hybrids; drought; leaf development rate; root weight distribution
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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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MDPI and ACS Style

Marshall, A.H.; Lowe, M.; Collins, R.P. Variation in Response to Moisture Stress of Young Plants of Interspecific Hybrids between White Clover (T. repens L.) and Caucasian Clover (T. ambiguum M. Bieb.). Agriculture 2015, 5, 353-366.

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