Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pullman, Washington » Plant Germplasm Introduction and Testing Research » Research » Research Project #436492

Research Project: Genomics Enabled Purging Selection to Develop 200 Alfalfa Inbred Lines for High Yield Hybrid Production

Location: Plant Germplasm Introduction and Testing Research

Project Number: 2090-21000-036-23-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jan 1, 2019
End Date: Aug 31, 2021

Objective:
1) Identify the genetic loci controlling inbreeding compatibility. 2) Complete six consecutive generations of inbreeding at full-sib level using marker assisted selection. 3) Identify and apply the genetic loci of seed number to improve seed production. 4) Identify and apply the genetic loci of lignin content to improve forage quality.

Approach:
Previously developed alfalfa genotypes from the genome-wide association study (GWAS) salt and drought tolerant populations will be used as source material. From these will be identified 200 genotypes for inbreeding. From each of these will be developed 25 inbred lines following six generations of full-sib mating. During the inbreeding process, progeny from these populations will be phenotyped for seed production and forage nutritive value particularly lignin content. High and low extreme individuals for each trait will be identified and pooled for bulked segregant analysis. Multiple Bulked Segregant Analysis (BSA) will be used to map genes controlling inbreeding compatibility and lignin content. This will in turn be used for marker assisted selection (MAS) toward achieving the goal of six consecutive generations of inbreeding at full-sib level. Total plant samples will be collected, dried and ground using standard procedures for forage near-infrared reflectance (NIR) spectroscopy analysis. Forage nutritive value will be determined using NIR spectroscopy specifically acid detergent lignin with inhouse equations. System software will be used to select samples for wet chemistry analysis and validations.