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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 16 No. 4, p. 480-482
    Received: Jan 31, 1976

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Combining Ability for Seedling Dry Weight and Forage Yield in Cicer Milkvetch1

  1. C. E. Townsend2



Polycross progenies of plants from three selected populations of cicer milkvetch, Astragalus cicer L., were evaluate for combining ability for seedling dry weight in the greenhouse and for forage yield in the field. Parental plants were selected for high vigor, low vigor, or large seed. The large-seeded group was average or above average for vigor. About 80 progenies were evaluated in the greenhouse and at two field locations. In another study 45 progenies were evaluated at one field location.

Seedling dry weight of the progenies in the greenhouse ranged from 19 to 118% of the reference progeny which had been selected for high seedling emergence in the field. Only one progeny was significantly better than the reference and it was from the large-seeded group. Of the 19 progenies that did not differ significantly from the reference, one was from the low-vigor, five from the large-seeded, and 13 from the high-vigor population.

In field studies the frequency of high-yielding progenies was higher in the high-vigor and large-seeded populations than in the low-vigor population through the second year. However, in one study that was conducted for 3 years, the performance of the low-vigor population was much better in the third year while that of the large-seeded population was relatively poorer. In general, genetic variation within cicer milkvetch for seedling dry weight and forage yield appeared sufficient to permit improvement of these characters.

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