Submitted to: North American Alfalfa Improvement Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 16, 2006
Publication Date: July 20, 2006
Citation: Bauchan, G.R., Xia, Z., Van Berkum, P.B. 2006. Molecular dna markers utilized to discern alfalfa fall dormancy check cultivars. North American Alfalfa Improvement Conference. July 16-19, 2006, Minneapolis, MN. p.6. Technical Abstract: Alfalfa cultivars are difficult to distinguish based upon morphological traits. Only a few morphological traits have been used to describe alfalfa. Molecular markers especially simple sequence repeats (SSR) have not been utilized in alfalfa to characterize alfalfa cultivars. This study was conducted to determine if simple sequence repeat (SSR) DNA markers could be used to distinguish the eleven fall dormancy standard check cultivars of alfalfa. Three differently derived SSR were utilized. Genomic SSR (gSSR) derived from a genomic library of Medicago sativa; SSR derived from express sequence tag (EST) from M. truncatula and bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) derived SSR also from M. truncatula were all used. SSR primer pairs were fluorescently labelled and sequenced on a 3730 DNA Analyzer. The gSSR were the most informative SSR with 90% being useful followed by the BAC SSR (36%) and EST derived SSR at only 31%. The sequence data were analyzed and a dendogram was developed to determine relationships among the alfalfa cultivars. Based upon the results from this study we have shown that two of the very fall dormant cultivars (Fall dormancy (FD) class 1 and 2) cluster together, the two FD class cultivars which are typically grown in the Mid-western U.S. FD 3 and 4 clustered together, as did the two semi-dormant (FD 5 and 6) standard check cultivars, while the non dormant cultivars (FD 7 - 11) clustered in a large group. We have shown that SSR can be utilized to group the eleven fall dormancy check cultivars of alfalfa, although additional SSR may need to be developed to clearly identify individual cultivars of alfalfa.