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The Faculty of Agriculture in Osijek and Agricultural Institute Osijek
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  • Lucerna
  • Populacije
  • Fenotipska Raznolikost
  • Multivarijatna Analiza
  • Oplemenjivanje
  • Alfalfa
  • Populations
  • Phenotypic Diversity
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Breeding


The objective of this study was to evaluate phenotypic diversity in the alfalfa germplasm collections using multivariate analysis to examine the extent of genetic diversity and contribution of selected characters to the total diversity and finally to select the most promising clusters/populations for further breeding work. Forty alfalfa populations/cultivars of different geographical origin were evaluated for 12 agro-morphological characters during two consecutive years. The populations/ cultivars were grouped into six clusters. In most cases populations/cultivars within clusters were not associated with their geographical origin. Intercluster distances were larger than the intracluster ones. This research revealed a broad phenotypic diversity within and between the alfalfa germplasm collections. The following characters contributed most to the total phenotypic diversity: dry matter yield in the first production year, plant height and length of central leaflet. Based on the mean value of the evaluated characters and determined distances between clusters, the most promising populations/cultivars belong to the clusters IV and V. Selected populations/cultivars could be considered as a valuable genetic material for the yield and quality improvement of alfalfa in our breeding programme.

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