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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT OF NEW MOLECULAR MARKER FOR ALFALFA AND RELATED SPECIES

Location: Molecular Plant Pathology

2012 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
1. Identify alfalfa genetic markers associated with resistance and adaptation to abiotic stresses. Emphasis should be on markers associated with water-use efficiency that may aid adaptation of alfalfa production to variations in water availability associated with climate change and reductions in water resources available for irrigation. (NP215 C3: PS H1)

2. Identify alfalfa genetic markers associated with resistance and adaptation to biotic stresses. Emphasis should be on markers associated with diseases, nematodes and insect pests associated with irrigated alfalfa production systems. (NP215 C3: PS H1)


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
The research project will utilize short sequence repeats (SSR) and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) technologies to identify genetic markers associated with resistance and adaptation of alfalfa to abiotic and biotic stresses. Markers will be validated through cooperative research collaborations with ARS scientists in Prosser, WA; Logan, UT; Madison, WI; and St. Paul, MN. Emphasis will be placed on markers associated with water-use efficiency and disease and pest resistance.

This project was without a lead scientist in FY 2011 until May. It has been redirected to the Molecular Plant Pathology Laboratory and a new project will be developed and written in FY 2012.


3.Progress Report:
Illumina RNA-sequencing has been performed in two alfalfa genotypes contrasting in salt tolerance to identify genes responsive to salt stress. Differential expression of alfalfa genes was assessed by using de novo strategy or by mapping reads to a reference genome of Medicago truncatula. Preliminary results show that a considerable pool of data has been obtained on transcript profiling and gene annotation. The data will be used to elucidate the role of genes associated with salt tolerance and to identify genetic markers that are linked to adaptation to salt stress.


Review Publications
Postnikova, O.A., Nemchinov, L.G. 2012. Comparative analysis of microarray data in Arabidopsis transcriptome during compatible interactions with plant viruses. Virology Journal. 9(101):1-7.

Last Modified: 4/20/2014
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