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ARS Home » Midwest Area » St. Paul, Minnesota » Plant Science Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #171952


item Lamb, Joann
item Jung, Hans Joachim

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/9/2004
Publication Date: 11/9/2004
Citation: Lamb, J.F., Jung, H.G. 2004. Environmental stability of stem quality traits in alfalfa [abstract]. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts. Abstract No. 3885.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Knowledge of the environmental influence and variability of forage quality traits are essential in a plant breeding program to improve these traits. Previous studies have shown that in alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), stems have a greater impact on total forage quality than leaves. We initiated a study using near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) calibrated by wet chemistry to identify individual alfalfa plants that differed in 13 different stem forage quality characteristics. Individual plants that were either high or low in these stem quality traits were vegetatively propagated and clones of each selected plant were transplanted into replicated experiments at two field locations. All clonal entries were sampled at early flower maturity at spring, early, and late summer harvests for 2 years and evaluated for stem quality traits. Preliminary results showed that several of the alfalfa stem quality traits differed in each environment tested, but for stem NDF digestibility, no shifting in rank among the clonal entries within each environment demonstrated potential for improvement of alfalfa stem fiber quality traits.