Project Number: 2090-21000-035-03-A
Project Type: Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Jan 1, 2016
End Date: Jun 30, 2018
Objective 1: Develop diverse alfalfa populations for identifying genes conditioning drought/salt tolerance traits. Objective 2: Map Quantitative Trait Loci (QTLs) associated with drought and salt resistance using genome-wide association studies. Objective 3: Develop molecular markers and strategies for selection of drought and salt tolerant alfalfa and breeding for superior varieties with drought and salt resistance.
Improved germplasm from ongoing Agriculture Research Service (ARS) programs and breeding populations under investigation will be established in greenhouse and field. Greenhouse procedure will be used to determine drought and salt tolerance in respective populations, Agronomic traits including biomass/yield and forage quality under drought and high salinity will be phenotyped. Phenotypic data will be statistically analyzed and used for mapping loci associated with drought and salt tolerance. Next generation sequencing will be applied for all genome genotyping and single nucleotide polymorphism markers were be used for identifying markers closely linked to the resistance loci. These markers will be validated and used for marker- assisted breeding for improving alfalfa resistance to drought and/or high salinity.