• Fabio Veronesi
  • E. Charles Brummer
  • Christian Huyghe
Part of the Handbook of Plant Breeding book series (HBPB, volume 5)


Cultivated alfalfa (Medicago sativa L., 2n = 4x = 32), often called “Queen of the forages” (Barnes et al. 1988), is a tetraploid perennial, open pollinated legume with polysomic inheritance. Native to the Middle East, alfalfa belongs to the M. sativa–falcata complex, where interfertile diploid and tetraploid forms coexist (Quiros and Bauchan, 1988). In modern agricultural production systems, alfalfa can be harvested for up to 4–5 years before the stand deteriorates, although rotation to other crops after 2–3 years is common. In northern areas, seeding can be performed in spring or early autumn; autumn seedings are most common in southern production regions. Recommended seeding rates are very variable across locations and soil types, typically from 10 to 25 kg ha–1 in pure stand.


Quantitative Trait Locus Simple Sequence Repeat Marker Seed Yield Single Nucleotide Polymorphism Genome Selection 
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.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fabio Veronesi
    • 1
  • E. Charles Brummer
    • 2
  • Christian Huyghe
    • 3
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Biologia ApplicataUniversity of PerugiaPerugiaItaly
  2. 2.Institute for Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Genomics, Crop and Soil Sciences DepartmentUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  3. 3.INRACentre de Recherche Poitou-CharentesLusignanFrance

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