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Comparative Chromosome Banding Studies of Nondormant Alfalfa Germplasm


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 43 No. 6, p. 2037-2042
    Received: Jan 8, 2002

    * Corresponding author(s): BauchanG@ba.ars.usda.gov
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  1. Gary R. Bauchan *,
  2. T. Austin Campbell and
  3. M. Azhar Hossain
  1. USDA-ARS, Soybean Genomics and Improvement Laboratory, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Beltsville, MD 20705


A cytogenetic investigation was conducted on four historically putatively distinct nondormant alfalfa germplasm sources, African, Chilean, Peruvian, and Indian tetraploid alfalfa [Medicago sativa ssp. sativa (L.) L. & L.; 2n = 4x = 32]. C-banding, image analysis, and cluster analysis was used to test the hypothesis that chromosome structure differed among the four nondormant alfalfa populations. Cytogenetic analyses revealed polymorphisms for heterochromatic DNA in the number and location of constitutive heterochromatic DNA both within and among genotypes. However, this variability did not prevent recognition of homologous chromosomes. Karyotypes of Peruvian and Indian populations were developed. The reference African population was used to compare the karyotypes of Peruvian and Indian populations as well as the previously published Chilean population. In general, the number of heterochromatic DNA bands was similar for the African, Chilean, and Peruvian populations; however, the Indian population had significantly fewer heterochromatic bands than the other three. Cluster analysis based on all eight chromosomes yielded no clear separation of the nondormant alfalfa populations possibly because of the lack of chromosomal rearrangements, similar genetic backgrounds of the initial introductions, intercrossing of the different sources, genetic drift during maintenance, and/or common genetic backgrounds of the original parental germplasm sources.

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