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Crop Science Abstract -

Preliminary Groupings of Plant Introductions of Alfalfa (Medicago sativa, L.) for Heterosis Studies1


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 6 No. 6, p. 597-600
    Received: July 9, 1966

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  1. John W. Dudley and
  2. R. L. Davis2



In preparation for a study of between and within group crosses as sources of heterotic combinations we classified 144 plant introductions into eight groups. Three replications of five plant plots of each introduction were grown from original seed in North Carolina and Indiana and evaluated for a number of characters. Based on origin, winter-hardiness, leafhopper yellowing score, growth index in North Carolina and growth index in Indiana we classified 7 introductions of M. sativa var. gaetula as gaetula; 5 introductions as gaetula-like; 50 as Chilean; 20 as Chilean-like; 90 as Flemish; 19 as Afghan; 9 as Afghan-like; and 14 as non-hardy. When the groups with the suffix “-like” were combined with groups having the same name, five major groups were formed. Countries considered to be in the center of origin of alfalfa contributed entries to all but the Chilean major groups.

Ways of using the proposed groups for increased efficiency in the search for heterotic combinations and for more precise preliminary classification of new plant introductions are proposed.

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