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10 December 2012 Improving white clover for Australasia
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Improving the genetic merit of temperate forage legumes helps ensure profitability and sustainability of our Australasian pastoral industries. Today’s plant breeders are supported by a range of underpinning research activities including genetic resources exploration and enhancement, plant physiology, plant health, feed quality, agronomy, quantitative genetics and plant biotechnology; and have collaborative interfaces with animal and farm systems science. Lifting the rate of gain by integration of molecular tools, innovative breeding strategies, and new genetic resources is the major objective of our white clover breeding network. This paper, presented at the Australasian Grassland Association’s recent Legume Symposium, focuses on the key research and development achievements in white clover breeding for Australasia, and on the success and future of an Australasian collaboration to breed improved cultivars for the region’s temperate environments. The paper reports on successful developments in the areas of improving white clover root systems for phosphate uptake, pest tolerance, development of novel inter-specific hybrids and marker-aided breeding. The successful trans-Tasman collaboration in white clover breeding and future work is also discussed.

© CSIRO 2012
Received: 7 April 2012; Accepted: 2 September 2012; Published: 10 December 2012

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