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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center » Dairy Forage Research » Research » Research Project #434053

Research Project: Cracking Soft Seed in Hairy Vetch: Marker-Assisted Cover Crop Improvement

Location: Dairy Forage Research

Project Number: 5090-12210-001-005-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Feb 15, 2018
End Date: Feb 14, 2023

1. To identify markers associated with soft seed and seed shatter. 2. To develop improved soft-seeded and low-shatter varieties of hairy vetch. 3. To evaluate improved lines of hairy vetch with farmers. 4. To develop a tool to guide seed companies in the emerging cover crop seed market. 5. To prepare for the release of improved lines of hairy vetch.

We plan a comprehensive approach to developing improved soft-seeded and non-shattering hairy vetch (Vicia villosa) varieties for use as a cover crop. We will run and validate a genome-wide association study (GWAS) to identify markers associated with the problematic traits of seed dormancy and shatter. A field-based breeding program will be simultaneously developed to create soft-seeded hairy vetch varieties while incorporating genomic markers from the GWAS study as they become available. Finally, farmers and seed companies will be integrated into the project during the variety testing and release phase.