Impact of water deficit in the relationship among alfalfa traits
Keywords:Medicago sativa, path analysis, correlations, dry matter biomass.
This study aimed to evaluate the relationship among traits related to yield and nutritive value of alfalfa genotypes grown under deficit and full irrigation conditions. Seventy-seven alfalfa genotypes were evaluated in two different cuts, the first one with full irrigation, and the second, with water deficit. A randomized block design with three replications was used. The evaluated traits were vigor, plant height, dry matter biomass, stem-to-leaf ratio, dry matter percentage, leaf and stem protein contents, in vitro dry matter digestibility, neutral detergent fiber, acid detergent fiber, and lignin. Significant interaction between genotypes and environments was reported for vigor, plant height, and lignin. The correlation between traits and path analysis of dry matter biomass was performed for each cut, aiming to identify auxiliary traits for indirect selection. Water availability did not alter the phenotypic and genotypic correlations, only their magnitudes. Regardless of the environment, plant height is one of the most promising traits for the selection of alfalfa genotypes with higher dry matter biomass since it showed a high direct effect in the same sense of its phenotypic correlations. However, the coefficient of determination obtained by the model applied to full irrigation was higher than that of the water-deficit environment, indicating the importance of variables not included in this study in the determination of alfalfa dry matter biomass under dry conditions.
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Copyright (c) 2020 Iara Gonçalves dos Santos, Paulo Eduardo Teodoro, Cosme Damião Cruz, Reinaldo de Paula Ferreira
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