University of Wisconsin–Madison


Disease Resistant Alfalfa Populations

Overall yields of alfalfa, a primary forage crop in Wisconsin, have declined steadily due to a variety of major pathogens, including Verticillium, Phytophthora, and Aphanomyces. Aphanomyces and Phytophthora are both soil fungi that cause root rot. A UW-Madison researcher has now developed several populations of alfalfa that exhibit a high level of resistance to Aphanomyces Race 1 and Race 2 and Phytophthora medicaginis. The populations have been selected for several traits related to disease resistance and plant longevity. Two of the populations are very competitive with commercial varieties as forage crops. The other populations are currently undergoing field tests and show yields comparable to commercial lines. These populations may be valuable themselves as commercial varieties or they may serve as a source of Race 2 resistance for other commercial lines.


Resistant to Aphanomyces Race 1 and Race 2 and Phytophthora medicaginis

Varieties can be used commercially on their own

Varieties can be used as germplasm for alfalfa seed companies to obtain resistance to Aphanomyces Race 2


Inventors: Craig R. Grau

Source:, WARF: P01169US



Alfalfa Genotype Clonal Selection out of Regen-SY Germplasm

This alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) line is a clonal selection out of Regen-SY germplasm as described by R.W. Groose and E.T. Bingham (Crop Science 31:1510-1513, 1991). The line was selected for its ready regeneration in tissue culture and its efficient transformation by Agrobacterium tumefacians. Due to these characteristics, the alfalfa line provided here is easily genetically engineered to express foreign proteins. Resulting transgenic lines can then be backcrossed into elite cultivated varieties to create commercial cultivars with desirable, transgenic traits. The line, and numerous transformants created with it, have been extensively field-tested.


Provides an alfalfa genotype that is easily engineered to express foreign proteins

Shows regeneration frequencies in tissue culture of 85 to 90 percent

Shows transformation frequencies of 45 to 60 percent

Herbage yield in spaced, clonal stands equals the average of clones from elite cultivars

Has been successfully used in backcrosses to transfer transgenic traits into elite cultivars


Inventors: Sandra Austin-Phillips, Edwin T. Bingham

Source:, WARF: P98164US