Red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) is a versatile forage crop legume, which can tolerate a variety of soils and is suitable for silage production for winter feed and for grazing. It is one of the most important forage legumes in temperate livestock agriculture. Its beneficial attributes include ability to fix nitrogen, improve soil and provide protein rich animal feed. It is however, a short-lived perennial providing good biomass yield for two or three years. Improved persistency is thus a major ...[more]
Project description:Red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) is one of the most important legume forage species in temperate livestock agriculture. Tetraploid red clover cultivars are generally producing less seed than diploid cultivars. Improving the seed setting potential of tetraploid cultivars is necessary in order to utilize the high forage quality and environmentally sustainable nitrogen fixation of red clover. Two genotypes, one from cv.Tripo with weak seed setting and one from cv.Lasang with strong seed setting, were selected based on data from field experiments for transcriptome analysis of developing flower buds. De novo and reference based analyses of transcriptome assemblies were conducted to study the global transcriptome changes from early to late developmental stages of flower development of the two contrasting red clover genotypes. Transcript profiles, gene ontology enrichment and KEGG pathway analysis indicate that genes related to flower development, pollen pistil interactions, photosynthesis and embryo development are differentially expressed between the Tripo and Lasang genotypes. A significant number of genes related to pollination was overrepresented in Lasang, which might be a reason for its good seed setting ability. The candidate genes detected in this study might be used to develop molecular tools for breeding tetraploid red clover varieties with improved seed yield potentials.
Project description:Improvement of freezing tolerance of red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) would increase its persistence under cold climate. In this study, we assessed the freezing tolerance and compared the proteome composition of non-acclimated and cold-acclimated plants of two initial cultivars of red clover: Endure (E-TF0) and Christie (C-TF0) and of populations issued from these cultivars after three (TF3) and four (TF4) cycles of phenotypic recurrent selection for superior freezing tolerance. Through this approach, we wanted to identify proteins that are associated with the improvement of freezing tolerance in red clover. Recurrent selection performed indoor is an effective approach to improve the freezing tolerance of red clover. Significant improvement of freezing tolerance by recurrent selection was associated with differential accumulation of a small number of cold-regulated proteins that may play an important role in the determination of the level of freezing tolerance.