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Crop Science Abstract -

Variation Among Alfalfa Cultivars for Indices of Nitrogen Fixation1


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 21 No. 1, p. 8-10
    Received: May 6, 1980

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  1. David Hoffman and
  2. Bill Melton2



Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) cultivars with increased nitrogen fixation potential would be beneficial. The desirability of existing cultivars as genetics source material for a breeding program to accomplish this objective has not been reported.

Ten alfalfa cultivars contrasting in fall dormancy, date of release, and germplasm origin were evaluated as 10-week-old seedlings for indices of N2-fixation under nil-nitrate sand culture in a lathehouse during the summer months. Largest variability for indices at N2-fixation was among plants within cultivars and not among cultivars. The results indicated that all of the cultivars evaluated would be equally desirable as source material to improve N2-fixation potential in alfalfa. No effects were noted which could be attributed to fall dormancy, age of the cultivar, or germplasm source.

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