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Lotus ornithopodioides L. a potential annual pasture legume species for Mediterranean dryland farming systems

Loi, A., Nutt, B.J., Sandral, G.A., Franca, A., Sulas, L., Yates, R.J., Gresta, F., D’Antuono, M.F. and Howieson, J.G. (2017) Lotus ornithopodioides L. a potential annual pasture legume species for Mediterranean dryland farming systems. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution, 64 (3). pp. 493-504.

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Twenty-three populations of Lotus ornithopodioides L., collected from different regions of the Mediterranean basin, were investigated for their ecological and agronomic traits in Western Australia. Great variability was found between and within populations for flowering time, forage and seed yield. Flowering time ranged between 75 and 120 days, dry matter production from 2.8 to 4.3 t ha−1 and seed yield from 284 to 684 kg ha−1. Other important traits such as non-shattering pods and hard seed were taken into account during the selection to assure an easy seed harvesting and legume persistence in the targeted environments. The high level of hard seed recorded in early winter, associated to the low seedling regeneration, indicates that L. ornithopodioides is best suited to ley cropping systems. Elite lines of L. ornithopodioides characterized by early flowering time, high seed yield and non-shattering pods were selected. Two of them, LOR02.1 and LOR03.2, showed dry matter higher than 4.0 t ha−1 and seed yield around 700 kg ha−1 resulting the lines with most potential for Mediterranean farming systems. The results encourage the exploitation of L. ornithopodioides germplasm to develop a new annual self-reseeding legume resource for Mediterranean farming systems for both forage production and crop rotation uses.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Centre for Rhizobium Studies
Publisher: Springer Netherlands
Copyright: © 2016 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
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