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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Genotype and Environment Affect Rhizome Growth of Birdsfoot Trefoil

Authors
item Beuselinck, Paul
item Brummer, Edward - IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY
item Viands, Donald - CORNELL UNIVERSITY
item Asay, Kay
item Smith, Richard
item Steiner, Jeffrey
item Brauer, David

Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 17, 2004
Publication Date: August 1, 2005
Citation: Beuselinck, P.R., Brummer, E.C., Viands, D.R., Asay, K.H., Smith, R.R., Steiner, J.J., Brauer, D.K. 2005. Genotype and environment affect rhizome growth of birdsfoot trefoil. Crop Science. 45:1736-1740.

Interpretive Summary: Birdsfoot trefoil is the common name applied to Lotus corniculatus L., a forage legume grown in the United States, Canada, South America, and Europe. Wild germplasm of birdsfoot trefoil from Morocco is unique in that plants produce rhizomes (stems that spread underground) that may prove useful in increasing the longevity of our cultivated varieties. Outcomes from our research have resulted in new birdsfoot trefoil lines with rhizomes. In this study, we observed that two rhizomatous lines planted at five locations in the USA expressed different rhizome growth and survival traits. Plants of the rhizomatous lines were larger than plants of the non-rhizomatous cultivar 'Norcen'. Rhizomes appeared to be beneficial to plant survival and plant growth. Plants grown in Logan, UT, were larger and produced more rhizomes relative to the other four locations (IA, MO, NY, and WI). The environmental conditions at the Logan site are similar to sites in Morocco where the rhizomatous birdsfoot trefoil germplasm originated. This information is important to researchers and producers wanting to effectively choose and manage traditional or rhizomatous birdsfoot trefoil cultivars for pasture and livestock.

Technical Abstract: Rhizome production has been transferred from wild germplasm of Lotus corniculatus L. (broadleafed birdsfoot trefoil) into domesticated germplasm to produce 'ARS-2620' and 'ARS-2424' (a L. corniculatus x L. uliginosus hybrid). The objective of this study was to determine if field environments in the USA differing in latitude affect rhizome expression in genotypes of ARS-2620 and ARS-2424. Ramets of rhizomatous genotypes of ARS-2620 and ARS-2424, and non-rhizomatous 'Norcen' were planted at seven locations in late-July and August 1999. At five locations in 2000 and 2001, dormant plants were hand-dug in late autumn or winter. Traits measured were mean crown plus root mass, crown circumference, and percent survival for all entries, and rhizome mass for the two rhizomatous entries. Significant (P < 0.001) location x genotype effects were observed for all traits in 2000, but only for percent survival in 2001. In 2001, the effects of locations were significant for all traits (P < 0.001), but genotype effects were significant (P < 0.001) only for crown circumference and percent survival. The rhizomatous entries were larger in circumference and had a greater crown plus root mass than Norcen. Rhizomes appeared to be beneficial to plant survival and plant growth. Plants grown in Logan, UT, were notable standouts for their large size and rhizome production relative to the other four locations. The environmental conditions at the Logan site are similar to sites in Morocco where rhizomatous L. corniculatus germplasm originated.

Last Modified: 7/25/2014
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