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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pullman, Washington » Plant Germplasm Introduction and Testing Research » Research » Research Project #439381

Research Project: Developing Regionally-adapted, Resilient Alfalfa Germplasm Pools

Location: Plant Germplasm Introduction and Testing Research

Project Number: 2090-21000-026-008-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2020
End Date: Aug 31, 2022

1. Evaluate germplasm and select regionally (Pacific Northwest) adapted material 2. Increase seed of regionally adapted select germplasm populations

Approximately 2,000 alfalfa (Medicago sativa subsp. sativa) plants will be field-established on Washington State University, Irrigated Agricultural Research and Extension Center's Roza Experimental farm in the fall 2019 from seed (or transplanted). The seed for these plants will be provided by project lead (Lead PI) Dr. Charles Brummer of the University of California, Davis. The same plants will be established at multiple sites across the nation (e.g., Madison, WI and Ithaca, NY) to be evaluated under those conditions. The following two growing seasons (i.e., 2020 and 2021) space plants will be evaluated for multiple traits including general vigor, freedom from disease or insect pests, and fall dormancy. In addition, approximately 10 alfalfa populations, previously selected for regionally adapted traits will be scheduled for seed increases at the same site. Approximately 100 plants from each of these 10 populations will be planted in the fall of 2019. These plants the following spring will be covered prior to bloom with insect-proof cages, supplied with pollinators during summer months, harvested, threshed and seed cleaned for long-term storage and distribution.