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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center » Cell Wall Biology and Utilization Research » Research » Research Project #439249

Research Project: Determining Genetic Factors That Influence Protein Quality and Yield In Alfalfa

Location: Cell Wall Biology and Utilization Research

Project Number: 5090-31000-026-45-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

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

Objective:
This integrated project will use 200 diverse alfalfa varieties already established to determine molecular markers and other genetic information that affect four year yield and protein degradability and the linkage of these traits.

Approach:
1) Determine quality and stage of maturity at first harvest of 200 alfalfa varieties at four locations in the Pacific North West. Fall dormancy and yield for all cuttings will be determined to identify and reduce confounding factors with quality and yield. 2) Quantify the genetic diversity of alfalfa that is related to forage protein quality and yield to understand the potential to breed new alfalfa varieties for higher forage quality and yield. 3) Identify molecular markers associated with protein degradability and yield traits in alfalfa to aid alfalfa breeders. 4) Extend the knowledge gained from project to positively impact alfalfa producers, breeders and others in the alfalfa industry.