Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: March 27, 2007
Publication Date: November 10, 2008
Citation: Gebeyaw, M.T., Samac, D.A., Lamb, J.F. 2008. Alfalfa. In: Kole, C., Hall, T.C., editors. A Compendium of Transgenic Crop Plants. Volume 3. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing. p. 199-210. Technical Abstract: Legumes, with more than 650 genera and 20,000 species, range from herbaceous annuals to woody perennials that are important for providing quality human diet and livestock diet. Legumes also contribute to sustainable agriculture because they can fix nitrogen in symbiosis with the soil bacteria called rhizobia. Alfalfa (Medicago species) is a perennial forage legume that is widely cultivated for animal fodder. The genus Medicago comprises more than 60 annual and perennial species, and alfalfa (Medicago sativa L. and M. falcata L.) has a long history of cultivation around the world. Legumes in general have been recalcitrant to genetic transformation. As a result, only a few of the forage legumes have been the targets of forage biotechnology work. In this update, we report recent advances in the genetic engineering of forage improvement on alfalfa (Medicago sativa.L.).