Table Of ContentsNext Page

Genetic diversity within Persian clover (trifolium resupinatum)

R.T. Kenny and G.F.M. Reed.

Department of Agriculture, Pastoral Research Institute. Hamilton, Victoria 3300

Annual sowings of the annual, Persian clover (Trifolium resupinatum var. majus cv. Maral) at Hamilton demonstrated its considerable feeding value as a fodder crop (1) and as hay (2). Maral contains a low proportion of hard seeds and is a vigorous erect plant. Thirty introductions of T. resupinatum were obtained from CSIRO and examined for characteristics which may improve long-term persistence under grazing.


Seeds were soaked on filter paper, transferred to seed boxes and then transplanted,5 to a pot, on 1 August 1980. One to five pots were planted to each line depending on seed viability. Pots were kept in a glasshouse until 25 November. Rots were separated by insect-proof cages to prevent cross-pollination. After seed-ripening, herbage and seed were harvested. Seeds which would not imbibe water after soaking for 7 days were counted as hard.


Fifteen lines contained no viable seed. Remaining lines indicated considerable diversity for the characters observed (Table 1). Our results extend westwards the region previously identified as a source of hard-seed (3). Hard-seededness can be increased by selection (4), or by breeding from hard-seeded genotypes with suitable agronomic features. Development of cultivars, superior to Maral in terms of regeneration under grazing, may therefore be possible.

Table 1. Plant and seed characteristics of some introductions of T. Resupinatum

We acknowledge the co-operation of Mr. R. Pullen. CSIRO, Canberra, Mr. J. Wright, Dept. Agric., Werribee and Mrs. E. Felfoldi, Dept. Agric., Burnley in supplying. cleaning and testing seed respectively.

1. Kenny, P.T. and Reed, K.F.M. 1984 Aust. J. Exp. Agric. Anim. Husb. 24: (322-31)

2. Flinn. P.C. and Saul. G.R. 1983 In "Feed Information and Animal Production", C.A.B., pp. 259-63.

3. Crawford, E.J. 1983 Australasian Plant Breeding and Genetics Newsletter No. 33 pp. 62-3

4. Weihing, R.M. 1962 Crop Sci. 2: 381

Top Of PageNext Page