Heterosis between semidormant and nondormant derived alfalfa germplasm

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2004-01-01
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Sakiroglu, Muhammet
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Agronomy

The Department of Agronomy seeks to teach the study of the farm-field, its crops, and its science and management. It originally consisted of three sub-departments to do this: Soils, Farm-Crops, and Agricultural Engineering (which became its own department in 1907). Today, the department teaches crop sciences and breeding, soil sciences, meteorology, agroecology, and biotechnology.

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The Department of Agronomy was formed in 1902. From 1917 to 1935 it was known as the Department of Farm Crops and Soils.

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1902–present

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  • Department of Farm Crops and Soils (1917–1935)

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Abstract

Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) yield has not increased over the past 25 years in the Midwestern United States. One way to increase yield in alfalfa is through capturing heterosis. Heterotic groups are genetically distinct germplasms that, when hybridized, repeatedly produce progeny that express heterosis. In alfalfa, three main heterotic groups have been proposed in the United States: dormant M. falcata, semidormant M. sativa, and nondormant M. sativa. Nondormant alfalfa cannot be used in the upper Midwestern United States due to severe winterkill. Three cycles of recurrent selection were conducted in four nondormant cultivars and winter hardiness was substantially improved in all four. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that the nondormant derived alfalfa germplasm represents a heterotic group distinct from Midwestern United States cultivars. Four elite Midwestern alfalfa cultivars and the four nondormant derived populations were hand crossed in a half diallel mating design. A seeded trial was established at one Iowa location in 2003 and transplanted trials grown at two locations at 2004. In spite of the observation of better yield in some of the particular crosses, a general heterotic pattern was not observed between the two proposed groups.

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Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2004