Determination of general and specific combining abilities for forage yield and agronomic traits in alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) dialell crosses

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Plant Breeding, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Department of Plant Breeding, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

3 Professor, Seed and Plant Improvement Research Institute, Karaj, Iran


The most important purpose of alfalfa breeding programs is forage yield improvement. The objective of this study was to determine general combining ability (GCA) and specific combining ability (SCA) of alfalfa forage dry matter yield, plant height, number of stem, regrowth rate and leaf to stem ratio. A half diallel crosses (9×9) was performed by eight alfalfa ecotypes from different climatic regions of Iran and one cultivar from America. Experimental field was established in early autumn of 2013 which included 36 F1 hybrids with nine of their parents in a complete block design with three replications at Plant and Seed Improvement Institute, Karaj, Iran. The results of diallel analysis for two growth seasons (2014-2015) indicated high significant variation among crosses, GCA and SCA effects. Interactions of GCA and SCA with environment were significant for forage dry matter yield. The hybrids of Ghahavand × Nikshahri and Mohajeran × silvana indicated positive significant SCA for forage dry matter yield and regrowth, while, the hybrid of Kozare × Yazdi exhibited positive SCA for forage dry matter yield, plant height, re-growth rate and also leaf to stem ratio. This study indicated that the possibility of improvement forage yield and other agronomic traits through crosses among alfalfa ecotypes.


Main Subjects

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Volume 48, Issue 3 - Serial Number 3
December 2017
Pages 637-646
  • Receive Date: 27 May 2016
  • Revise Date: 01 August 2016
  • Accept Date: 06 August 2016
  • Publish Date: 22 November 2017