The potential of the new synthetic variety of Iranian sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia Scop.)

Document Type : Research Paper


Horticulture and Crops Research Department, East Azarbaijan Agricultural and Natural Resources Research and Education Center, AREEO, Tabriz, Iran


Sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia Scop.) is a perennial forage legume, widely distributed in the northern temperate region and has received renewed interest in the world. This experiment was carried out to proceed from the previously-produced Syn1 generation of a new synthetic variety to the Syn2 generation. The Syn2 generation was produced and evaluated during the 2015-2019 growing seasons. In the first two years, the seeds of the Syn2 generation and composite varieties were produced in completely isolated condition. Then, the Syn2 generation along with the Composite, Sarab, and Bostan-Abad varieties were evaluated in the field conditions for three years (2017-2019). Significant differences were observed for the fresh and dry matter yield and plant height among the studied sainfoin varieties. The Synthetic variety showed the highest annual fresh forage yield (36785 kg ha-1) which was significantly different from other varieties. A similar result was obtained for the annual total dry matter yield, and the Synthetic variety showed the highest dry matter yield (11715 kg ha-1). The superiority of the Synthetic variety over the average of the ecotypes of Sarab and Bostan-Abad was about 25% for the dry matter and fresh forage yield. The plant height of the Synthetic variety was 83 cm, which was higher than other varieties. Among the studied varieties, no significant differences were observed for the traits related to forage quality. The protein content, total ash, crude fiber, water-soluble carbohydrates, and acid detergent fiber in the Synthetic variety were 18.52, 7.40, 19.95, 44.70, and 19.6%, respectively. The results indicated 


Annicchiarico P, Barrett B, Brummer EC, Julier B, and Marshall AH, 2015. Achievements and challenges in improving temperate perennial forage legumes. Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences 34: 327-380.
Arzani H, Zohdi M, Fish E, Amiri GZ, Nikkhah A, and Wester D, 2004. Phenological effects on forage quality of five grass species. Rangeland Ecology and Management 57: 624-629.
Azuhnwi B, Boller B, Martens M, Dohme-Meier F, Ampuero S, Günter S, Kreuzer M, and Hess H, 2011. Morphology, tannin concentration and forage value of 15 Swiss accessions of sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia Scop.) as influenced by harvest time and cultivation site. Grass and Forage Science 66: 474-487.
Azuhnwi B, Hertzberg H, Arrigo Y, Gutzwiller A, Hess H, Mueller-Harvey I, Torgerson P, Kreuzer M, and Dohme-Meier F, 2013. Investigation of sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia) cultivar differences on nitrogen balance and fecal egg count in artificially infected lambs. Journal of Animal Science 91: 2343-2354.
Bhattarai S, Coulman B, and Biligetu B, 2016. Sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia Scop.): renewed interest as a forage legume for western Canada. Canadian Journal of Plant Science 96: 748-756.
Carpici EB and Celik N, 2010. Determining possible relationships between yield and yield-related components in forage maize (Zea mays L.) using correlation and path analyses. Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca 38: 280-285.
Copani G, Niderkorn V, Anglard F, Quereuil A, and Ginane C, 2016. Silages containing bioactive forage legumes: a promising protein-rich feed source for growing lambs. Grass and Forage Science 71: 622-631.
Delgado I, Salvia J, Buil I, and Andrés C, 2008. The agronomic variability of a collection of sainfoin accessions. Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research 6: 401-407.
Hackmann T, Sampson J, and Spain J, 2008. Comparing relative feed value with degradation parameters of grass and legume forages. Journal of Animal Science 86: 2344-2356.
Häring D, Scharenberg A, Heckendorn F, Dohme F, Lüscher A, Maurer V, Suter D, and Hertzberg H, 2008. Tanniferous forage plants: agronomic performance, palatability and efficacy against parasitic nematodes in sheep. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems 23: 19-29.
Häring D, Suter D, Amrhein N, and Lüscher A, 2007. Biomass allocation is an important determinant of the tannin concentration in growing plants. Annals of Botany 99: 111-120.
Irani S, Majidi MM, and Mirlohi A, 2015. Half-sib matting and genetic analysis of agronomic, morphological, and physiological traits in sainfoin under nonstressed versus water-deficit conditions. Crop Science 55: 123-135.
Jafari AA, Connolly V, and Walsh E, 2003. Genetic analysis of yield and quality in full-sib families of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) under two cutting managements. Irish Journal of Agricultural and Food Research 42(2): 275-292.
Kamalak A, Atalay AI, Ozkan CO, Kaya E, and Tatliyer A, 2011. Determination of potential nutritive value of Trigonella kotschi Fenzl hay harvested at three different maturity stages. Kafkas Universitesi Veteriner Fakultesi Dergisi 17: 635-640.
Liu Z, Baines R, Lane G, and Davies W, 2010. Survival of plants of common sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia Scop.) in competition with two companion grass species. Grass and Forage Science 65: 11-14.
Majidi M and Arzani A, 2009. Evaluation of yield potential and genetic variation of morphological, agronomic and qualitative traits in sainfoin populations (Onobrychis viciifolia Scop.). Journal of Science and Technology of Agriculture and Natural Resources 13: 557-571.
Malisch CS, Suter D, Studer B, and Lüscher A, 2017. Multifunctional benefits of sainfoin mixtures: effects of partner species, sowing density and cutting regime. Grass and Forage Science 72: 794-805.
Mohajer S, Jafari AA, Taha RM, Yaacob JS, and Saleh A, 2013. Genetic diversity analysis of agro-morphological and quality traits in populations of sainfoin (Onobrychis sativa). Australian Journal of Crop Science 7: 1024-1031.
Monirifar H, Aghbolagh H, and Khorshidi Benam M, 2017. Selection of superior sainfoin ecotypes for quantity and quality traits. Iranian Journal of Rangelands and Forests Plant Breeding and Genetic Research (In Persian with English abstract) 25: 302-313.
Nakhjavan S, Bajolvand M, Jafari A, and Sepavand K, 2011. Variation for yield and quality traits in populations of sainfoin (Onobrychis sativa). American-Eurasian Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences 10: 380-386.
Okcu M and Şengül S, 2014. A study on the determination of the morphological, yield and quality characteristics of some sainfoin species (Onobrychis spp.) native to East Anatolia. Pakistan Journal of Botany 46: 1837-1842.
Sears R, Ditterline R, and Mathre D, 1975. Crown and root rotting organisms affecting sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia) in Montana. Plant Disease Reporter 59: 423-426.
Sölter U, Hopkins A, Sitzia M, Goby J, and Greef J, 2007. Seasonal changes in herbage mass and nutritive value of a range of grazed legume swards under Mediterranean and cool temperate conditions. Grass and Forage Science 62: 372-388.
Stringano E, Carbonero CH, Smith LM, Brown RH, and Mueller-Harvey I, 2012. Proanthocyanidin diversity in the EU ‘HealthyHay’sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia) germplasm collection. Phytochemistry 77: 197-208.
Toorchi M, Aharizad S, Moghaddam M, Etedali F, and Tabatabavakil S, 2007. Estimation of genetic parameters and general combining ability of sainfoin landraces with respect to forage yield. Journal of Crop Production and Processing 11: 213-223 (In Persian with English abstract).
Trnka M, Kersebaum KC, Eitzinger J, Hayes M, Hlavinka P, Svoboda M, Dubrovský M, Semerádová D, Wardlow B, and Pokorný E, 2013. Consequences of climate change for the soil climate in Central Europe and the central plains of the United States. Climatic Change 120: 405-418.
Van Soest P, Robertson JB, and Levvis BA, 1991. Methods for dietary fiber, neutral detergent fiber and non-starch polysaccharides in ration to animal nutrition. Journal of Animal Science 74: 3583-3597.
Vogel K and Pedersen JF, 1993. Breeding systems for cross-pollinated perennial grasses. In Janick J (ed.). Plant Breeding Reviews 11: 251-273. John Wiley & Sons, USA.
Wang Y, Berg B, Barbieri L, Veira D, and McAllister T, 2006. Comparison of alfalfa and mixed alfalfa-sainfoin pastures for grazing cattle: effects on incidence of bloat, ruminal fermentation, and feed intake. Canadian Journal of Animal Science 86: 383-392.
Wilkins P and Humphreys M, 2003. Progress in breeding perennial forage grasses for temperate agriculture. The Journal of Agricultural Science 140: 129-150.
Wilman D and Asiedu F, 1983. Growth, nutritive value and selection by sheep of sainfoin, red clover, lucerne and hybrid ryegrass. The Journal of Agricultural Science 100: 115-126.
Zarrabian M, Majidi MM, and Ehtemam MH, 2013. Genetic diversity in a worldwide collection of sainfoin using morphological, anatomical, and molecular markers. Crop Science 53: 2483-2496.