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Development of Melilotus siculus – A new salt and waterlogging-tolerant annual fodder legume species for Mediterranean-type climates

Nichols, P., Craig, A., Bonython, A., Rogers, M-J, Ballard, R., Charman, N., Hughes, S., Colmer, T., McClements, D. and Barrett-Lennard, E. (2010) Development of Melilotus siculus – A new salt and waterlogging-tolerant annual fodder legume species for Mediterranean-type climates. In: Huyghe, C., (ed.) Sustainable use of Genetic Diversity in Forage and Turf Breeding. Springer, pp. 131-135.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-8706-5_18
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Abstract

In Australia large areas of agricultural land are currently affected by dryland salinity, with this area expected to reach 17 million hectares by 2050. Many of these soils are also subject to periods of waterlogging. The commonly sown pasture and fodder legumes in southern Australia are sensitive to these conditions. A recent series of field experiments across southern Australia found that of 33 self-regenerating annual legumes, the undomesticated species, Melilotus siculus (Turra) Vitman ex B.D. Jacks, was the only one productive and persistent beyond the first year on waterlogged, saline (ECe levels in summer > 8 dS/m in the top 0–10 cm) sites. The salinity and waterlogging tolerance of M. siculus in the vegetative phase has been confirmed by glasshouse experiments, while recent studies have shown mechanisms for salinity tolerance and avoidance in germinating seedlings. Recent work has identified suitable rhizobia able to nodulate regenerating plants on saline soils. Evaluation of M. siculus genotypes will now commence, with the aim of developing a new fodder legume cultivar suitable for saline soils prone to waterlogging.

Publication Type: Book Chapter
Publisher: Springer
Copyright: © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/43585
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