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Crop Science Abstract -

Performance of Anthracnose-resistant Alfalfa Strains1


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 15 No. 4, p. 505-508
    Received: June 25, 1974

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  1. T. E. Devine and
  2. J. E. McMurtrey III2



Seven alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) strains, bred in the laboratory for resistance to anthracnose caused by Colletotrichum trifolii Bain, were evaluated for resistance and performance in field tests. The breeding procedure used was designed to maintain the original genetic background, while gene frequencies for resistance to specific diseases were increased. The original susceptible populations and then resistant derivatives were used as bioindicators to assay the contribution of anthracnose resistance to performance. All strains bred for resistance were highly resistant under a naturally occurring anthracnose epiphytotic in the field. Following development of the epiphytotic, anthracnose resistance greatly increased forage yield, competitiveness against weed encroachment, and stand persistence. A fixed quadrant procedure was devised to measure alfalfa stand persistence. Susceptibility to bacterial wilt [incited by Corynebacterium insidiosum (McCull.) H. L. Jens.] vitiated the effect of anthracnose resistance.

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