Variation in vigour and in RFLP-estimated heterozygosity by selfing tetraploid alfalfa: new perspectives for the use of selfing in alfalfa breeding

Scotti, C.; Pupilli, F.; Salvi, S.; Arcioni, S.
July 2000
Theoretical & Applied Genetics;Jul2000, Vol. 101 Issue 1/2, p120
Academic Journal
The effect of selfing on vigour and heterozygosity was analysed in six independent families obtained by recurrent cycles of self-fertilization and selection until the S3 generation. The heterozygosity level, estimated by means of 11 homologous probes, decreased from the S0 to S3 generations and was partially restored in S2×S2 polycrosses. The decreasing trend was influenced by the inbreeding level of the chosen mother plant in each self generation to advance in subsequent selfing. Plant vigour estimated by Dry Matter Yield (DMY) decreased during inbreeding, and phenotypic selection of S2 individuals seemed to prove effective as the differences in DMY between vigorous and weak plants were maintained in S2×S2 crosses. No correlation between plant vigour and heterozygosity was found between subgroups of vigorous and weak plants selected within the same S2 family. Results are discussed with a view to selecting the best performing and least heterozygous plants during inbreeding to isolate useful genes and linkats in superior partially inbred parental lines.


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