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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 9 No. 2, p. 244-246
    Received: Oct 24, 1968

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Selection for Improving Creeping-Rooted Characteristics in Alfalfa1

  1. Thad H. Busbice and
  2. C. H. Hanson2



A phenotypic recurrent selection program for creeping-rooted character in alfalfa was described. A random mating population, designated NCCrl, was obtained from selected segregates of crosses between Canadian creepers and adapted noncreepers. Normally, primordial domes are initiated on lateral roots the first growing season, but two growing seasons are required for expression of creeping-rooted character. Four cycles of selection, using primordial domes as a criterion for creeping, failed to increase the frequency or amount of creeping. However, a fifth cycle of selection based upon actual creeping after 2 years in the field doubled the frequency and extent of creeping.

All cycles of NCCrl were inferior to ‘Cherokee’ (adapted noncreepinig cultivar) in spring vigor, yield, and recovery after cutting. However, after five cycles of selection many creeping plants had upright growth, leaf shape, and vigor similar to that of Cherokee. In the last cycle of selection, creeping and vigor were positively correlated, indicating that these characters can be genetically combined.

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