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  1. Vol. 14 No. 6, p. 821-824
     
    Received: Feb 14, 1974
    Published: Nov, 1974


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doi:10.2135/cropsci1974.0011183X001400060013x

Relationship of Mitochondrial Efficiency to Forage Yield in Alfalfa1

  1. A. A. Schneiter,
  2. R. G. McDaniel,
  3. A. K. Dobrenz and
  4. M. H. Schonhorst2

Abstract

Abstract

The utilization of a physiological variable to determine yield potential could serve as a valuable tool for plant breeders. The object of this study was to determine if a relationship existed in ratios of adenosine diphosphate (ADP) to oxygen (mitochondrial efficiency) and forage production in alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.).

Significant differences in ADP:O among mitochondria isolated from 5-day-old seedlings of several lines of alfalfa were found. When ADP:O means of the seedlings were compared to forage yields obtained from field studies, significant positive correlation coefficients were found. Correlations were highest during cooler portions of the growing season (spring, fall) when yields are normally highest and lower during the summer months when forage production/harvest is low.

It would appear that the laboratory determination of ADP:O ratios may have potential as a physiological tool for the selection of high yielding alfalfa genotypes when grown under optimum conditions. When factors such as physical environment, insects, or diseases are the yieldlimiting variables the relationship may not be as valid.

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