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A Comparative Study of Alfalfa and Medicago truncatula Stem Traits: Morphology, Chemical Composition, and Ruminal Digestibility

Permanent URL:
http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/11601
File:
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Abstract:
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) is an agronomically important forage, but digestibility of stem cell wall material is low. Because the tetraploid genome of alfalfa complicates genetic dissection of complex pathways, the diploid M. truncatula Gaertn. could serve as a model for stem cell wall development in alfalfa. We compared stem morphology, chemical composition (protein, soluble carbohydrates, cell wall polysaccharides, and lignin), and in vitro ruminal cell wall polysaccharide digestibility of two alfalfa clones (Regen-SY27 and 718) and four M. truncatula inbred lines (A17, A20, DZA315.16, and R108) in a replicated growth chamber experiment. Stem tissue development and cell wall lignification observed by light microscopy were similar between the species. While differences in stem morphology, composition, and digestibility were observed among the germplasms, there was overlap between the alfalfa and M. truncatula germplasms for all traits except protein concentration, which was greater for the two alfalfa clones. Younger stem internodes (top third of the stem) of both species had a higher protein concentration and greater cell wall polysaccharide digestibility, and lower cell wall concentration than older internodes (bottom third of stem). Based on the data presented here, it appears that M. truncatula is a suitable model for stem development, composition, and digestibility of alfalfa.
Author(s):
Schnurr, J.A. , Jung, H.J.G. , Samac, D.A.
Subject(s):
Medicago sativa , alfalfa , Medicago truncatula , forage legumes , forage crops , species differences , plant morphology , chemical constituents of plants , forage quality , forage composition , rumen fermentation , digestibility , cell wall components , stems , protein content , carbohydrate content , polysaccharides , lignin , inbred lines , models , plant age
Format:
p. 1672-1680.
Note:
Includes references
Source:
Crop science 2007 July-Aug, v. 47, no. 4
Language:
English
Year:
2007
Collection:
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
Rights:
Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted.