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Forage Yield and Other Agronomic Traits of High- and Low-Coumarin Isosynthetics of Sweetclover
- Goplen, B. P.
- Crop science 1969 v.9 no.4 pp. 477-480
- botany, Plant Science and Plant Products
- A method is described for the development of high- and low-coumarin isosynthetics of Melilotus alba Desr. and M. officinalis (L) Lam. Field studies at four locations were carried out to determine the effect of coumarin content on the agronomic performance of sweetclover. High-coumarin isosynthetics were superior to corresponding low-coumarin isosynthetics in forage yield, seed yield, seedling vigor, spring vigor, and winterhardiness and were somewhat earlier in maturity. A greenhouse study corroborated field results on seedling vigor. The basis for the differential behavior is unknown. It was concluded that vigorous and high yielding low-eoumarin sweetdover varieties might eventually be developed, but breeding efforts must be intensified to overcome the mediocre agronomic performance associated with the low-coumarin character. The application of the isosynthetic technique to plant breeding programs is suggested.