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Article

Breeding Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) Adapted to Subtropical Agroecosystems

1
Agronomy Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
2
Departamento de Biologia, Universidade Federal de Lavras, Lavras, Minas Gerais 37200, Brazil
3
Department of Horticultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2020, 10(5), 742; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10050742
Received: 14 April 2020 / Revised: 15 May 2020 / Accepted: 18 May 2020 / Published: 21 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Crop Production, Management, and Ecophysiology)
Alfalfa is planted in more than 30 million hectares worldwide, but despite its popularity in temperate regions, it is not widely grown in subtropical agroecosystems. It is critical to improve alfalfa for such regions, considering current predictions of global warming and the increasing demands for animal-based products. In this study, we examined the diversity present in subtropical alfalfa germplasm and reported genetic parameters for forage production. An initial screening was performed from 2014 to 2016, evaluating 121 populations from different subtropical origins. Then, a breeding population was created by crossing selected plants, resulting in 145 full-sib and 36 half-sib families, which were planted in a row-column design with augmented representation of three controls (‘Bulldog805′, ‘FL99′ and ‘UF2015′). Dry matter yield (DMY), canopy height (AH), and percentage blooming (BLOOM) were measured across several harvests. Moderate narrow-sense heritability and high genetic correlations between consecutive harvests were estimated for all traits. The breeding line UF2015 produced higher DMY than FL99 and Bulldog805, and it could be a candidate cultivar release. Several families produced higher DMY than all checks, and they can be utilized to develop high yielding and adapted alfalfa cultivars for subtropical agroecosystems. View Full-Text
Keywords: alfalfa; forage; biomass; legume; hay; livestock alfalfa; forage; biomass; legume; hay; livestock
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MDPI and ACS Style

Acharya, J.P.; Lopez, Y.; Gouveia, B.T.; de Bem Oliveira, I.; Resende, M.F.R., Jr.; Muñoz, P.R.; Rios, E.F. Breeding Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) Adapted to Subtropical Agroecosystems. Agronomy 2020, 10, 742. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10050742

AMA Style

Acharya JP, Lopez Y, Gouveia BT, de Bem Oliveira I, Resende MFR Jr., Muñoz PR, Rios EF. Breeding Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) Adapted to Subtropical Agroecosystems. Agronomy. 2020; 10(5):742. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10050742

Chicago/Turabian Style

Acharya, Janam P., Yolanda Lopez, Beatriz Tome Gouveia, Ivone de Bem Oliveira, Marcio F. R. Resende Jr., Patricio R. Muñoz, and Esteban F. Rios. 2020. "Breeding Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) Adapted to Subtropical Agroecosystems" Agronomy 10, no. 5: 742. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10050742

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