Alfalfa resistance to post-harvest Aspergillus species: Combining ability analyses

C. A. Kimbeng, S. R. Smith, V. Babij, K. M. Wittenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Hay making is still the most widespread technique of forage preservation. Saprophytic fungi, such as Aspergillus repens, can reduce forage quality during the post-harvest period by causing hay molding. Methods to control molding have yielded variable results, but genetic resistance has yet to be exploited. The objective of this study was to determine the mode of inheritance of resistance to post-harvest fungal growth in alfalfa. Seven parental genotypes representing a range of resistance to fungal growth (A. repens) were crossed in a complete diallel including reciprocals for a total of 42 crosses. Parental genotypes along with their progeny were screened for resistance to A. repens. The relative importance of general combining ability (GCA) and specific combining ability (SCA) effects in controlling resistance to post-harvest A. repens was compared. The results revealed a preponderance of GCA effects. The parent that supported the least amount of fungal growth produced progeny with the least amount of fungal coverage. The reverse was true for the more susceptible parents. The results indicate that breeding procedures that maximize additive gene effects, such as recurrent selection, could be effective in improving resistance to post-harvest fungal growth in alfalfa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1193-1197
Number of pages5
JournalCanadian Journal of Plant Science
Volume84
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2004

Keywords

  • Alfalfa
  • Aspergillis repens
  • Breeding
  • Combining ability
  • Post-harvest fungi
  • Resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science
  • Horticulture

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