DETECTING ALFALFA (MEDICAGO SATIVA L.) POPULATIONS USING MORPHOLOGICAL TRAITS AND RAPD MARKERS
In order to evaluate several alfalfa populations from East Azerbaijan of Iran, an experiment based on randomized complete block design was performed under field conditions during three appropriate growing seasons (2010-2013) at the East Azarbaijan Agricultural and Natural Resources Research and Education Center, Tabriz, Iran. Thirty alfalfa populations were selected from East Azerbaijan, Iran. The morphological traits and molecular marker (RAPD) were evaluated in all alfalfa populations. The result showed that the most morphological attributes had a significant difference between alfalfa populations, and it was indicated that each alfalfa population is related to various locations of East Azerbaijan. Correlation drawn between dry weight and agronomic attributes in the alfalfa populations showed that dry weight was strongly correlated with plant height. Cluster analysis, using UPGMA procedure, based on RAPD banding pattern in 30 alfalfa populations formed four groups. Overall, all alfalfa populations had more genetic diversity and can be used in a breeding program that can be made synthetic cultivars.