Development of Alfalfa Inbreds

Alfalfa is the major forage crop around the world, but genetic improvement is at a slower pace. Severe inbreeding depression and high outcrossing nature make it difficult to effectively improve complex agronomic traits among synthetic varieties. The major setback for hybrid production is the inability to produce pure inbred lines due to severe inbreeding depression and partial self-incompatibility. Mapping deleterious alleles through bulk segregation analysis will help to identify genetic variants associated with inbreeding depression. The identified genetic variants can be used as markers, which will help to purge deleterious alleles, causing inbreeding depression in the early generation of breeding. Consequently, it will increase the probability to produce fertile inbred lines in the succeeding generations.