Interspecific hybridisation of white clover and Caucasian clover confers grazing tolerance

Type Conference Proceeding (Non-Journal item)
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGrassland Science in Europe
EditorsC. Porqueddu, A. Franca, G. Lombardi, G. Molle, G. Peratoner, A. Hopkins
PublisherEuropean Grassland Federation
Number of pages3
ISBN (Print)978-88-901771-9-4, 9788890177187
Publication statusPublished - 2017
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The rhizomatous growth habit of Caucasian clover (Trifolium ambiguum M. Bieb.) has been introgressed into a white clover (T. repens L.) background by interspecific hybridisation and a programme of backcrossing and selection. Previous studies have demonstrated the utility of such hybrids in improving persistence in marginal areas through enhanced tolerance of water stress. In the present study the response of these hybrids to grazing was investigated. Dry matter yield and persistence of hybrids was compared with the performance of conventional white clover varieties. The results of the study indicate that T. ambiguum * T. repens hybrids show enhanced persistence under grazing. It is postulated that this enhanced persistence is conferred by the presence of rhizomes in the hybrids