Offered Papers Theme A: Efficient Production from Grassland

Description

Annual sweetclover (Melilotus alba Desr) is a reseeding, drought tolerant forage legume that is well adapted to the alkaline and neutral soils of the US Southern Great Plains. Coumarin is a phytochemical found in sweetclover that is a precursor to dicoumarol, which causes a toxic bleeding disease in cattle. The inheritance of low coumarin in sweetclover is determined by a single gene (Goplen et al., 1957), but current low coumarin cultivars are all biennial, northern types. The ability of annual sweetclover to develop a multi-stemmed crown, similar to alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), is also under genetic control (Hartwig, 1942). The objective of this breeding program is to combine the traits of annual flowering, low coumarin and multi-stemmed crowns into improved sweetclover germplasm.

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Concurrent Selection for Low Coumarin and Multi-Stemmed Crowns in Annual Sweetclover

Annual sweetclover (Melilotus alba Desr) is a reseeding, drought tolerant forage legume that is well adapted to the alkaline and neutral soils of the US Southern Great Plains. Coumarin is a phytochemical found in sweetclover that is a precursor to dicoumarol, which causes a toxic bleeding disease in cattle. The inheritance of low coumarin in sweetclover is determined by a single gene (Goplen et al., 1957), but current low coumarin cultivars are all biennial, northern types. The ability of annual sweetclover to develop a multi-stemmed crown, similar to alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), is also under genetic control (Hartwig, 1942). The objective of this breeding program is to combine the traits of annual flowering, low coumarin and multi-stemmed crowns into improved sweetclover germplasm.