Morphologic and Agronomic Diversity of Wild Genetic Resources of Medicago sativa L. Collected in Spain Article First Online: 12 January 2006 Received: 05 July 2004 Accepted: 18 November 2004 DOI:
Cite this article as: Prosperi, JM., Jenczewski, E., Angevain, M. et al. Genet Resour Crop Evol (2006) 53: 843. doi:10.1007/s10722-004-6476-3 Abstract
One hundred and three natural populations of
Medicago L. were collected in Spain, mainly from roadsides, non-irrigated or grazed lands. This germplasm was evaluated at Montpellier (France) with control cultivars and Spanish landraces under completely random block design, replicated four times, and observed for 64 qualitative or quantitative characters. Differences between natural populations and cultivated controls are highly significant, but gene flow occurs between wild and cultivated compartment and hybrid populations were identified. On the basis of multivariable analysis, the accessions were grouped into four clusters depending on their proximity with the cultivated pool to facilitate their management and ex situ conservation. The relationship between environment of the site of collection and phenotypic characteristics of the natural populations was also discussed. Different policies of conservation of these genetic resources are suggested to avoid their disappearance even when they disappeared from the other regions of the western Mediterranean. Spanish wild pool of alfalfa, also called ‘Mielga’, appears of great interest for the breeding of alfalfa because it contains a large diversity of characteristics (prostrate habit, rhizomes) linked to tolerance to grazing or drought environment. With the need for more sustainable systems in agriculture, the erosion of natural habitats and the necessity for rehabilitation of degraded ecosystems, the importance of this wild pool is really inestimable. Keywords Agronomic traits Alfalfa Diversity Gene flow Genetic resources Medicago sativa Principal components Spain References Casellas, J. 1962 El género Medicago L. en España. Collect Botanica VI 183 291 Google Scholar Charmet, G., Balfourier, F. 1994 Influence of ecological factors on population differentiation in perennial ryegrass ( Lolium perenne L.) Genet. Resour. Crop Evol. 41 175 184 CrossRef Google Scholar Charmet, G., Balfourier, F., Bion, A. 1990 Agronomic evaluation of a collection of French perennial ryegrass populations: multivariate classification using genotype × environment interactions Agronomie 10 807 823 Google Scholar
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