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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Selection for Root Elongation Rate in Alfalfa

Authors
item Lamb, Joann
item Russelle, Michael
item Henjum, Keith - UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA
item Meyers, L - UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA
item Barnes, Donald - FORMER ARS EMPLOYEE

Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 12, 1998
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) is a deep-rooted perennial that may be able to remove nitrate from subsoil beneath the rooting zone of annual crops. Alfalfa cultivars with rapid and deep root elongation would help reduce the risk of nitrate contamination of ground water supplies. The objectives of this research were to (i) conduct one cycle of divergent selection for root telongation rate in alfalfa in an insulated greenhouse pit; and (ii) test resulting populations for gain from selection for either increased or decreased root elongation rate in both greenhouse and field environments. Unselected and selected populations were planted over known depths to a soil layer treated with the herbicide fluridone {1-methyl-3-phenyl-5-[3- (trifluromethyl) phenyl]-4(1H)-pyridinone} used as a root activity marker. Populations selected for increased root elongation rates reached the treated soil layer faster than the other populations in the greenhouse pit, ,but no significant differences were found in a field environment.

Last Modified: 10/21/2014
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