Submitted to: Journal of Heredity
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/29/1997
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Snail medics (Medicago scutellata) may be used in sustainable agriculture systems as a plant which can smother and out compete weeds thus reducing the need to apply herbicides. Genetic studies of snail medic were conducted to determine the inheritance of various traits which are important for the improvement of this species. We determined by crossing different types of snail medic that important traits such as days to flower, number of flowers, plant height and red flecking on the leaves are all controlled by single genes. This will help the breeder in manipulating these traits when developing improved snail medics varieties.
Technical Abstract: Genetic studies of Medicago scutellata were conducted to determine if intraspecifc hybrids could be produced and to study the inheritance of various morphological traits. Crosses were produced between three distinct accessions an early- flowering form, a late flowering form and a late flowering form with red flecking on the leaflets. The F1 and F2 progeny were observed to determine the segregation of the various traits and chi-square analysis was performed. Analysis of the seed proteins using electrophoresis was utilized to identify F1 hybrids between the three accessions. Crosses between early- and late flowering forms showed that the F1 hybrids were intermediate between the parents, the F2 segregated in a 1:2:1 ratio suggesting that these traits were controlled by a single gene with incomplete dominance. Dwarf plants were obtained when the early-flowering form was crossed with the late-flowering form with red flecks on the leaflets. This was determined to be regulated by two genes with one gene having a epistatic effect over the expression of the other gene. Red flecking on the leaflets is a single dominant gene trait as determined in the cross between the late-flowering forms of the species. All of the traits analyzed appeared to be disomic inherited therefore this supports the hypothesis that M. scutellata is an allotetraploid.