Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 2, 2003
Publication Date: September 1, 2003
Citation: BEUSELINCK, P.R., STEINER, J.J. 2003. REGISTRATION OF BIRDSFOOT TREFOIL GERMPLASM. CROP SCIENCE. 43(5):1886. Interpretive Summary: Broadleafed birdsfoot trefoil is a forage legume grown in the United States, Canada, South America, and Europe. Long-lived and productive stands of broadleafed birdsfoot trefoil depend on natural reseeding and individual plant persistence. Wild plants of broadleafed birdsfoot trefoil from Morocco are unique in that they produce rhizomes (stems that spread underground) which may prove useful in increasing the longevity of our cultivated varieties. A germplasm of broadleafed birdsfoot trefoil with rhizomes was developed and publically released to aid the commercial development of rhizomatous birdsfoot trefoil. The development of this germplasm required the intercrossing of wild Moroccan accessions with other domestic germplasm adapted to North America. The progeny of these intercrossings were evaluated for rhizome production, vigor, dry matter production, forage quality, incidence of disease, seed production, and winterhardiness. Selected progeny were planted and allowed to intercross and produce seed. The release of this germplasm is important because it provides public and private plant breeders the genetic material to develop rhizomatous birdsfoot trefoil cultivars with diverse attributes for pasture, range, and other environments.
Technical Abstract: ARS-2622 broadleafed birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus L.) germplasm was released by the USDA-ARS in cooperation with the Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station in August 2002. The merit of ARS-2622 is that it is a rhizome producing population with a broad genetic base. ARS-2622 was developed from mating of the germplasm MU-81 with five wild germplasm accessions from Morocco. The Moroccan parents were used as the source of the rhizomatous trait. Progeny were evaluated for rhizome production, vigor, dry matter production, forage quality, incidence of disease, seed production, and winterhardiness. Selected progeny were planted in isolation at Columbia, MO, for open-pollinated seed production. ARS-2622 is the result of two cycles of open-pollinated recombination in the field using honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) as pollinators. Equal numbers of seed collected from each plant were mixed to produce Cycle 1 then planted in Corvallis, Oregon, in April 2000, from which Cycle 2 seed was bulk harvested in August 2001. The bulk seed constitues the mid-60% maturity of the flowering cycle. Cycle 2 seeds were designated as ARS-2622. Plants from ARS-2622 are variable in morphology, like MU-81. It is semierect, with small- to medium-sized leaves and fine- to medium-sized stems. Flower color varies from yellow to magenta. It contains a larger number of early-flowering plants and produces rhizomes. The expression of rhizomes can be influenced by genetic background, management practices, environmental conditions, and other factors. This germplasm is important because it will allow plant breeders to develop rhizomatous cultivars with diverse attributes for pasture, range, and other environments.