Introducing some Iranian Ecotypes of Alfalfa



The objective of this research was to evaluate forage yield and quality of native alfalfa ecotypes. Correlations among the investigated traits were also determined, since data on relationships are of great importance in selection, especially for traits with low genetic variability. Experimental material consisted of 13 alfalfa germplasms. Investigation was carried out during a three-year period. The field trial was arranged as the randomized complete block design with four replications. There was a statistically significant difference among ecotypes for plant height ranging from 74.50 cm (Moapa) to 96.00 (Alhord), number of internodes from 12.75 (Khosrovanagh) to 16.00 (Moapa), leaf size from 0.45 (Ranger) to 1.0125 (Leghlan), leaf fresh weight to stem fresh weight ratio (LFW/SFW) from 0.44 (Leghlan) to 0.54 (Moapa), leaf dry weight to stem dry weight ratio (LFW/SFW) from 0.3725 (Leghlan) to 0.4750 (Moapa), in vitro dry matter digestibility (IVDMD) from 45.42% (Gara-Yonjeh) to 50.67% (Baftan), acid detergent fiber (ADF) from 38.83% (Khaje) to 44.70% (Gara-Yonjeh), crude fiber (CF) from 25.96% (Sivan) to 32.48% (Ranger) and neutral detergent fiber (NDF) from 47.03% (Khaje) to 57.43% (Moapa). There were positive correlations between plant fresh yield, dry yield, number of stems and plant height. LFW/SFW and LDW/SDW didn't show any significant correlation with quality components (IVDMD, CP, ADF, CF and NDF). There was a negative correlation between CP and CF. Sivan, Dizaj-Safarali, Gara-Baba, Khosrovanagh, Khaje, Alhord and Leghlan ecotypes had the best quality. They can be recommended and considered to make synthetic varieties.


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