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Heterosis in lucerne testcrosses with Medicago arborea introgressions and Omani landraces and their performance in synthetics

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Irwin, J.A.G., Armour, D.J., Pepper, P. M. and Lowe, K. F. (2010) Heterosis in lucerne testcrosses with Medicago arborea introgressions and Omani landraces and their performance in synthetics. Crop & Pasture Science, 61 (6). pp. 450-463. ISSN 1836-5795

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Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1071/cp10070


Testcrosses were made with novel sources of lucerne germplasm. These were evaluated in the field in a subtropical environment to identify the lines which produced the highest yielding hybrids as a guide to future breeding efforts. The novel sources were derivatives of Medicago sativa × M. arborea partial (asymmetric) hybrids (termed sac) and very highly winter-active Omani landraces of M. sativa. As testers, 2 lines were used; a Colletotrichum trifolii race 2 resistant selection from the group 9 Australian-bred and adapted cultivar PacL 901 (selection hereafter termed 901) and the Omani landrace, Oman 2, collected at 17°N latitude, from Salalah, Oman. In the row experiment, substantial and significantly positive tester parent heterosis for overall yield (sum of 13 harvests) was observed in all of the sac × Oman 2 testcrosses, with the mean performance of the 11 testcrosses (1839 g/m row) significantly (P < 0.05) exceeding the mean performance of the sac × 901 testcrosses (1703 g/m row) evaluated. Where 901 was used as the tester, heterosis values relative to the tester for the same sac lines were negative for all testcrosses with 8 of the testcrosses being significantly negative. For the Omani landrace × 901 testcrosses, positive and negative heterosis values for total yield relative to the tester were observed, but none were significantly different from zero. The 901 tester yielded significantly (P < 0.05) more per se than the Oman 2 tester (1956 v. 1470 g/m row), although in an adjacent sward experiment Oman 2 yielded comparably to most of the standard commercial cultivars.

The potential of the novel germplasm in the subtropics was verified in sward experiments with synthetics and/or strain crosses with yield increases of up to 42% over the benchmark synthetic Sequel. Further improvements can be expected following selection for disease and pest resistance within the lines and in the case of Oman 2 and sac, converging to maximise complementary gene action.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Crop and Food Science, Animal Science
Subjects:Plant culture > Field crops
Plant culture > Field crops > Forage crops. Feed crops
Plant pests and diseases
Live Archive:16 Feb 2023 06:30
Last Modified:16 Feb 2023 06:30

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