Tagged: Medicago sativa





Intraspecific variation in thermal acclimation of photosynthesis across a range of temperatures in a perennial crop

Interest in the thermal acclimation of photosynthesis has been stimulated by the increasing relevance of climate change. However, little is known about intra-specific variations in thermal acclimation and its potential for breeding. In a recent study published in AoB PLANTS, Zaka et al. analysed intra-specific variations in the thermal acclimation of photosynthesis in a perennial herbaceous crop (alfalfa – Medicago sativa) by comparing cultivars from contrasting origins grown under a range of temperatures. It was concluded that both temperate and Mediterranean cultivars display strong patterns of thermal acclimation in the 5–40°C range. There was no evidence of superior performance by...

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Giving drought the cold shoulder: A relationship between drought tolerance and fall dormancy in an agriculturally important crop

Fall dormant/freezing tolerant plants often also exhibit superior tolerance to drought conditions compared to their non-fall dormant/freezing intolerant counterparts.   In a recent article published in AoB PLANTS, Pembleton and Sathish report the results of an experiment aimed to investigate this phenomenon in an agriculturally important crop.  Seven alfalfa cultivars with varying levels of fall dormancy/freezing tolerance were exposed to a water deficit.  The more fall dormant cultivars had superior tolerance to a mild water deficit.  Two genes, CAS18 (encodes for a dehydrin like protein) and CorF (encodes for a galactinol synthase), were upregulated in association with this drought tolerance.  Both...

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Turbid medium models and light in intercropping

Turbid medium models and light in intercropping

Light partitioning within intercropping systems is mostly modelled by using the turbid medium analogy. Barillot et al. assess this approach by comparing it with a light-projective model based on 3-D plant mock-ups for contrasting grass–legume canopies (wheat–pea, tall fescue–alfalfa, tall fescue–clover). They find that light partitioning is accurately predicted by the turbid medium approach in most of the canopies studied; however, a more detailed description of the canopy is required for mixtures exhibiting marked vertical stratification and/or inter- or intraspecies overlapping of foliage.

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Mycorrhizae, plant allometry and biomass–density relationships

Mycorrhizae, plant allometry and biomass–density relationships

Mycorrhizae, plant allometry and biomass–density relationships Plant biomass–density relationships during self-thinning are determined mainly by allometry, but may potentially be influenced by the presence of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). Studying alfalfa (lucerne, Medicago sativa), Zhang et al. find that AMF affect the importance of below-ground relative to above-ground interactions, and change root vs. shoot allocation. This changes allometric allocation of biomass and alters the self-thinning trajectory of the population.

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