Euphytica

, Volume 92, Issue 3, pp 353–357 | Cite as

Traditional seed maintenance and origins of the French lucerne landraces

  • B. Julier
Article

Summary

As for other forage crops the notion of variety is quite recent in lucerne (Medicago sativa L.). Up to 1950 in France, farmers cultivated landraces whose origins were geographically defined. Seed production was a by-product of forage production. Usually, seeds were harvested on the second or third crop, in old lucerne fields. Natural selection created landraces adapted to local conditions. In some years, climatic conditions, especially in northern regions, were unfavourable to seed production. In the exchanges and trades of seeds between French regions, the genetic origin of the seeds was omitted, the geographical origin was only mentioned. Even if France usually exported lucerne seeds, imports occurred in bad years. Seeds were imported from European countries and from North and South America. Varieties from America were poorly adapted to the French conditions for forage production. These foreign varieties have probably intercrossed with the local landraces but no data is available to know to what extent. Among the various French landraces, five main types were defined using morphological characters: ‘Flamande’ in the north, three types (‘Poitou’, ‘Marais de Luçon’, ‘Marais de Challans’) in the west, and ‘Provence’ in the south. These landraces have been widely used in breeding since 1950. Even though these five landraces are, up to now, maintained, the other landraces have probably been lost (no more cultivated and not in genebanks), replaced by registered varieties.

Key words

Medicago sativa lucerne landrace seed production genetic erosion 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Alabouvette, L. & G. Méneret, 1935. Importance du choix des provenances de luzerne. Orientation à donner à la production des semences de luzerne en France. Ann Agron, Mai-Juin, 1–39.Google Scholar
  2. Barnes, D.K., B.P., Goplen & J.E., Baylor, 1988. Highlights in the USA and Canada: In: A.A., Hanson (Ed.), Alfalfa and alfalfa improvement, pp. 1–24. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Publishers, Agronomy Monograph no29, Madison.Google Scholar
  3. Bustarret, J., 1948. La production des semences fourragères. Bulletin Technique d'Information 39, 9 p.Google Scholar
  4. Canal, L. & R., Desroches, 1956. Orientation nouvelle de la production des semences fourragères. Bulletin Technique d'Information 115: 813–823.Google Scholar
  5. Clavier, C., 1964. Le potentiel de la luzerne Provence. Ann Amélior Plantes 14: 271–294.Google Scholar
  6. Demarly, Y., 1957. Biologie et exploitation de la luzerne. Ann Amélior Plantes 3: 247–272.Google Scholar
  7. Felix, L., 1954. Etudes préliminaires des techniques de production de semences fourragères. Conférence Européenne des Herbages, Paris, 11 p.Google Scholar
  8. François, L., 1924. Eléments caractéristiques des semences méridionales de trèfle et de luzerne. Ann Sc Agr 272–282.Google Scholar
  9. François, L., 1927. La détermination de la provenance des semences (second mémoire). Nouvelles recherches sur la géographie botanique. Ann Sc Agr 45–52.Google Scholar
  10. Julier, B., A., Porcheron, C., Ecalle & P., Guy, 1995. Genetic variability for morphology, growth and forage yield among perennial diploid and tetraploid populations (Medicago sativa L.). Agronomie 15: 295–304.Google Scholar
  11. Julier, B., P. Guy, C. Castillo-Acuna, G. Caubel, C. Ecalle, M. Esquibet, V. Furstoss, C. Huyghe, C. Lavaud, A. Porcheron, P. Pracros & G. Raynal, 1996. Genetic variability for pest resistance and forage quality in perennial diploid and tetraploid lucerne populations (Medicago sativa L.). Euphytica, in press.Google Scholar
  12. Lesins, K.A. & I., Lesins, 1979. Genus Medicago (Leguminosae) A taxonomic study. Junk by Publishers. The Hague. 228 p.Google Scholar
  13. Mayer, R., 1948. Les types de luzerne cultivés en France. Leur amélioration. Bulletin Technique d'Information 35: 6p.Google Scholar
  14. Mayer, R., 1950. Lucerne and its utilisation. Proceedings of the Conference of Farm Advisory Methods for Grassland Improvement. Organisation for European Cooperation, Paris, 62–72.Google Scholar
  15. Mayer, R., A., Vincent & R., Ecochard, 1951. Les populations françaises de luzerne: caractérisation-Zones de culture-Valeur culturale. Ann Amélior Plantes 2: 1–46.Google Scholar
  16. Michaud, R., W.F., Lehman & M.D., Rumbaugh, 1988. World distribution and historical development. In: A.A., Hanson (Ed.), Alfalfa and alfalfa improvement, pp. 25–91. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Publishers, Agronomy Monograph no29, Madison.Google Scholar
  17. Seltensperger, C., ND. Précis d'agriculture. J.B. Baillière (Ed.), Paris, 538 p.Google Scholar
  18. Stebler, F.G. 1986. Les meilleures plantes fourragères, 2ème partie. 100 p. Translated by H. Welter. K.J. Wyss (Ed.), Berne.Google Scholar
  19. Tasei, J.N., 1978. Les insectes pollinisateurs de la luzerne (Medicago sativa L) en France. Apidologie 9: 175–194.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Julier
    • 1
  1. 1.Station d'Amélioration des Plantes FourragèresINRALusignanFrance

Personalised recommendations