Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 115, Issue 6, pp 859–867 | Cite as

Analyses of a multi-parent population derived from two diverse alfalfa germplasms: testcross evaluations and phenotype–DNA associations

  • I. J. Maureira-Butler
  • J. A. Udall
  • T. C. Osborn
Original Paper


In a previous study, we showed that the genetic variation present in the Medicago sativa subsp. sativa Peruvian and M. sativa subsp. falcata WISFAL germplasms could be used to improve forage yields when favorable alleles were recombined and used in hybrid combination with cultivated alfalfa. In this paper, we present testcross forage yield and fall growth data for two seasons of a C0 population generated after intermating the Peruvian × WISFAL population for several generations. In addition, we conducted marker-trait association analysis as an attempt to identify Peruvian and WISFAL genomics regions affecting the targeted traits. Five and seven genomic regions were found significantly associated with forage yield and fall growth, respectively. In the case of fall growth, alleles from both accessions were positively associated with plant height. However, more alleles from WISFAL were positively associated with forage yield than from Peruvian. WISFAL is known for its winter hardiness and genomic regions with large effects on winter survival may have masked the effect of forage yield from Peruvian. The fact that most of the genomic regions discovered in this study have been previously associated with traits involved in winter hardiness validates our findings and suggests that associations between DNA fragments and agronomic traits can be detected without the necessity of developing bi-parental mapping populations.


Favorable Allele Recurrent Selection Winter Survival Forage Yield Winter Hardiness 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank E. T. Bingham and Amorntip Muangprom for comments on the manuscript. We also acknowledge Robert Vogelzang for technical assistance. Support was provided by a USDA Hatch grant from the University of Wisconsin, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. J. Maureira-Butler
    • 1
    • 2
  • J. A. Udall
    • 1
    • 3
  • T. C. Osborn
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics Program and Department of AgronomyUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Agri aquaculture Nutritional Genomic Center, Plant Biotechnology UnitINIA CarillancaTemucoChile
  3. 3.Brigham Young UniversityProvoUSA
  4. 4.Seminis Vegetable seeds (A Division of Monsanto)WoodlandUSA

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