Alfalfa Breeding & Genetics Program Research

Christopher Pierce
Research Specialist: Plant and Environmental Sciences

"The Alfalfa Breeding & Genetics Program, within the Plant & Environmental Science department at New Mexico State University, utilizes both traditional and cutting edge molecular plant breeding techniques to develop low water use high yielding alfalfa cultivars. Traditional alfalfa breeding techniques such as population selection, recurrent phenotypic selection, yield evaluation, and hybrid production are utilized as the main method of alfalfa cultivar improvement. Recently, techniques have been developed to utilize marker assisted selection to aid in our alfalfa breeding goals. These photos show personnel from the Alfalfa Breeding & Genetics program conducting hand crosses on alfalfa plants which have been screened for several different forage yield response genetic markers. This study will allow us to better understand the overall effect each marker has on forage yield production and determine it's usefulness in developing future alfalfa cultivars."

Submitted by: Christopher Pierce, Research Specialist, Alfalfa Breeding & Genetics Program, Dept. Plant and Environmental Sciences,New Mexico State University