Comparisons of alfalfa somaclonal and sexual derivatives from the same genetic source

T. W. Pfeiffer, E. T. Bingham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Tetraploid alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) clones were derived from the same diploid genetic background by four different methods. A phenotypically superior clone was selected from each method and compared for herbage yield and fertility. The four methods and their best clones were: a) In vitro somatic chromosome doubling of one diploid hybrid (HG2-4x); b) selection within a two allele tetraploid synthetic population derived from HG2-4x (HAG); c) somaclonal variant selection from cell suspension culture of the diploid hybrid (NS1); and d) sexual polyploidization of a sibling hybrid (HXG). Clones HG2-4x, HAG, and NS1 were likely diallelic or monoallelic at all loci. Clone HXG was probably tetrallelic or triallelic at most loci. Experiments measured fertility, clonal herbage yield, and herbage yield of test cross progeny for each selected clone. Fertility rankings were HXG = HAG > NS1 > HG2-4x. Clonal herbage yield rankings were HXG = HAG > NS1 > HG2-4x. Test cross progeny herbage yield rankings varied depending on the tester, but, in general, HXG ≧ HAG ≧ NS1 HG2-4x. Overall the best clones from the sexual methods exceeded the best somaclonal variant which, in turn, was better than the chromosome doubled clone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-266
Number of pages4
JournalTheoretical And Applied Genetics
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Jan 1984


  • 2n gametes
  • Chromosome doubling
  • Medicago sativa L.
  • Tissue culture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics


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