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Quantification of tannins in birdsfoot trefoil germplasm


, : Quantification of tannins in birdsfoot trefoil germplasm. Crop Science 33(4): 675-679

Condensed tannins in birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus L.) have been detected, but not quantified extensively. The objective of this study was quantitative analysis of tannins in birdsfoot trefoil germplasm. Diverse accessions were evaluated at two locations and on three harvest dates, and their tissues were analyzed by near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS), an accurate and efficient procedure increasingly used in quantitative germplasm evaluation. Ninety-seven diverse accessions of L. corniculatus were obtained from the USDA Northeast Regional Plant Introduction Station at geneva, N.Y. Seedlings were transplanted to fields near Columbia and Mt. Vernon, Mo. (Missouri, USA). Herbage regrowth was harvested three times at 30-d intervals, lyophilized, and analyzed for total condensed tannins. Treatments were arranged in a split-plot design at two locations with accessions as main plots and harvest dates as sub-plots. Treatment combinations were replicated three times. Accessions were clustered according to the single variable, tanning concentration, by the Scott-Knott non-overlapping means separation technique. Performance mean and standard error of NIRS equations were 51.0 and 11.0 g catechin equivalents (CE) kg-1 dry matter (DM), respectively; NIRS squared correlation coefficients exceeded 0.90. Condensed tannins different (P lt 0.01) among accessions and harvest dates, and an accession times harvest date interaction occurred P lt 0.01). Concentrations ranged from 0 to 132 g CE kg-1 DM, but 75% of the accessions contained less than 40 g CE kg-1 DM. For accessions appearing in the highest clusters tannins decreased 40% at Columbia and 27% at Mt. Vernon from July to September. Accessions from Ethiopia contained an average of 100 g CE kg-1 DM and usually appeared in the highest clusters.

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