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Crop Science Abstract -

Identification of Alfalfa Plants by Enzyme Electrophoresis1


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 20 No. 2, p. 262-264
    Received: Aug 8, 1979

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  1. Carlos F. Quiros2



The objective of this study was to apply the technique of starch gel electrophoresis to the identification of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) mother plants. These plants, preserved in field nursery plots for breeding and genetic studies, are subject to disease and pests. In many instances heavily diseased or dead plants are replaced by unidentified volunteers, thereby genetically contaminating the plots. Anodal isozyme peroxidases, esterases, and acid phosphatases from leaf tissue were very useful for “fingerprinting” each of the 21 mother plants tested: 18 tetraploids and three hexaploids. Zymograms were consistent for each plant when tested four times in a 3-month span. The technique consisted of running crude extracts of apical meristems at 300 V for 3 hours on starch gels holding up to 16 different samples. After the run, the gels were sliced horizontally in three or four sections and each of these was assayed for a different enzyme. Starch gel electrophoresis is a simple, inexpensive, and reliable technique for the identification of alfalfa plants.

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