Selection Progress for Ease of Floret Tripping in Alfalfa
- Eric E. Knapp and
- Larry R. Teuber
Breeding alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) for florets that are more easily tripped by honey bees (Apis Mellifera L.) has been proposed as means of increasing efficiency of pollination and improving seed yield. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of phenotypic recurrent selection in breeding for ease of alfalfa floret tripping, and to compare observed to predicted genetic gain. Easy- and hard-to-trip populations were developed from ‘CUF101’ (two populations), ‘Saranac’, and a high nectar population derived from ‘CUF101’. Populations were evaluated in the glasshouse and observed genetic gain was compared to genetic gain predicted from genetic variance component estimates. Gain was made from all starting populations for both easy (mean = 17.9% easier to trip) and hard tripping (mean = 25.4% harder to trip) (P ≤ 0.05). Genetic variance components were useful for predicting genetic gain, as observed gain corresponded closely to predicted gain in most populations. Gain was less for easy than for hard tripping from all but the Saranac population. Easy-to-trip populations still contained hard-to-trip plants, and hard-to-trip populations still contained easy-to-trip plants. Phenotypic recurrent selection was effective in breeding for ease of tripping in alfalfa.
Copyright © 1994.