HomePlantsProjectsEvaluating the Nordic Red Clover Collection for Arctic breeding

Arctic Clover: Evaluating the Nordic Red Clover Collection for Arctic breeding

Facilitating use of Nordic plant genetic resources

Red clover, Trifolium pratense
Red clover, Trifolium pratense. Photographer: Anna Palmé

The long term aim of this project is to increase the use of plant genetic resources by channelling information and seed material to plant breeders working in the Northern/Arctic region. This is done by evaluating landraces and wild material in the Nordic collection of red clover. The focus will be on agricultural traits that are important for Nordic breeders in their work to produce new well adapted varieties for the Northern/Arctic regions’ current and future climate.

The project will result in: (1) identification and distribution of valuable material for future pre-breeding and breeding projects aiming to adapt red clover to northern climate and future

climate change, (2) cooperation among the main companies/organisations working on pre-breeding for the Northern part of the Nordic region, and (3) facilitate the long term use of the Nordic red clover collection by substantially increasing the publically available knowledge on agricultural traits.

These goals will be reached by conducting evaluation of 50 accessions from the Nordic red clover collection conserved at the Nordic Genetic Resource Centre. The traits to be evaluated are chosen to be of direct importance to clover breeding and are selected by the main Nordic breeders of clover for the Nordic/Arctic region (who are also partners in this project). The evaluation will be conducted in 4 different locations, one in Finland, one in Sweden, one in Norway and one in Iceland. In this way we will get a picture of the performance of the accessions from a large part of the Nordic region and will be able to identify accessions that are preforming well across the region. Such stable genotypes are of special interest in the face of future unknown changes in the climate.

This project is of particular importance since it aims to channel the central genetic resources found in landraces and wild material in red clover, into use in pre-breeding and breeding activities. This is essential since such material can harbour traits needed for adaptation to future climate change and ever evolving pests and diseases, and thus for ensuring future food security.

Funding for the project has been received from the Nordic Council of ministers.