Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Plants, Soils, and Climate


J. Earl Creech


Blair L. Waldron


Steve R. Larson


Due to increased environmental stewardship and fertilizer prices, there is increased interest in using legume mixes in perennial croplands. The objective of this study was to compare quantitative genetic parameters and quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with intermediate wheatgrass (Thinopyrum intermedium) when grown in 1) a non-competitive spaced environment, 2) a polyculture with alfalfa (Medicago sativa), and 3) a monoculture with crested wheatgrass (Agropyron desertorum). Traits evaluated include plant growth characteristics (Zadok’s maturity, height, and tiller count), biomass, and forage nutritive value (CP, NDF, ADF, ADL, IVTD, NDFD, NFC, ME, RFQ). A linkage map comprised of 3568 single nucleotide polymorphisms in 21 linkage groups corresponding to 21 homologous chromosome pairs of both parents was used to identify QTLs and QTL x environment interactions (QxE) based on trait averages for each genotype in each environment. Significant genotype x environment interactions were detected for biomass, NDF etc. A total of 26 QTLs were identified, including 6 MASS, 2 TILE, 2 TICR, 1 ZAMA, 1 CP, 3 NDF, 2 ADF, 3 IVTD, and 5 NDFD. A subset of 7 QTLs showed significant QxE interaction. These results indicate that breeders need to evaluate plants in polyculture or swards if these are the intended crop management systems.