Best known as an animal feed, Alfalfa Medicago sativa is one of the most important and widely produced livestock crops grown throughout the temperate world. "Alfalfa and Relatives: Evolution and Classification of Medicago" provides an in-depth introduction to the Medicago genus, exploring its evolution, breeding and adaptation. Not only are Alfalfa's agricultural and environmental benefits unsurpassed but, due to technological advances, this staple crop is now being developed as a source of human food extracts, pharmaceuticals, enzymes, industrial chemicals, and biofuels. Through this detailed text the authors define the ecological applications of the plant whilst carefully illustrating its economic value and its growing importance as a genetic resource.
1: Introduction 2: The Economic Importance of Medicago 3: Genetic Resources Part I: THE EVOLUTION OF MEDICAGO 4: Biogeography 5: Chromosome Evolution 6: Interbreeding Barriers 7: Adaptations in Medicago 8: . Coevolution with Nitrogen-fixing Bacteria Part II: THE CLASSIFICATION AND IDENTIFICATION OF MEDICAGO 9: Circumscription of the Genus Medicago and its Classification in the Fabaceae 10: Phylogenetic Lineages and their Classification into Sections and Subsections Part III: ACCOUNTS OF THE SPECIES 11: . Identification of Species and Infraspecific Taxa 12: Medicago sativa Part IV: THE OTHER SPECIES 13: Literature Cited 14: Glossary 15: Guide to Scientific Synonyms 16: Index