Alfalfa - Highline

DEVELOPMENTman in alfalfa field

Highline was developed by the University of California alfalfa breeding program lead by Dr. Larry R. Teuber and research associates Larry K. Gibbs and Kenneth L. Taggard.  This cultivar was released because of its superior forage yield relative to CUF 101 in forage yield trials conducted at the Desert Research and Extension Center in the Imperial Valley.


This cultivar is a broad based germplasm pool developed by a combination of phenotypic recurrent selection and modified convergent improvement using 21 different source pools in the University of California alfalfa breeding program. The component populations had previously been selected for resistance to scald, saline soil conditions, smog, root knot nematode (Meloidogyne sp.), Phytophthora root rot (Phytophthora megasperma), anthracnose (Colletotrichum trefoil), Downy mildew (Peronospora trifoliorum), bacterial wilt (Corynebacterium insidiosum), a root rot complex including Stagonospora (Stagonospora meliloti) and Fusarium root rot (Fusarium oxysporum), blue alfalfa aphid (Acyrthosiphon kondoi), pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum), and spotted alfalfa aphid (Therioaphis maculata). This germplasm pool is composed of: 0%, M. falcata; 0%, Ladak; 0, M. varia; 8 %, Turkistan; 0%, Flemish; 7%, Chilean; 0%, Peruvian; 19%, Indian; 46%, African; 3%, Arabian; and 16%, unknown sources of germplasm.


Highline is very nondormant (fall dormancy group 9) with a Fall Dormancy Rating (FDR) of 8.9 based on University of California Fall Dormancy Trials, Flower color is predominantly purple (99+%) with a trace of variegated types (? 0.5%).  This cultivar is adapted to Low Desert irrigated production areas. It has been extensively tested in the Imperial Valley of California and the Central Valley of California (San Joaquin and Sacramento Valleys). It is intended for hay, haylage, greenchop, or dehydration.


Highline is highly resistant to Fusarium wilt (Fusarium oxysporum), pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum), spotted alfalfa aphid (Therioaphis maculata), and root knot nematode (Meloidogyne incognita). It is resistant to Phytophthora root rot (Phytophthora megasperma) and blue alfalfa aphid (Acyrthosiphon kondoi). It is susceptible to southern anthracnose (Colletotrichum trifolii) (Racel), and bacterial wilt (Corynebacterium insidiosum).  Resistance of this cultivar to Verticillium wilt (Verticillium albo-atrum) and Aphanomyces root rot (Race 1) (Aphanomyces euteiches), is unknown.


Highline has been tested as ‘Highline’ and UC-340.


 Seed classes of Highline are breeder (produced in a field isolation in 1984), Foundation and Certified. Breeder and Foundation seed classes will be maintained by the University of California Foundation Seed Program, or its designee. Breeder seed is limited to that produced at the Desert Research and Extension Center in 1986. Foundation and Certified seed is limited to a 2 and 3 year stand life, respectively. Seed production of the Foundation and Certified Classes is limited to the San Joaquin Valley of California south of 37°25’N latitude and Riverside and Imperial counties of California south of 34°00’N latitude. If the supply of breeder seed should become depleted, a selected lot of Foundation seed will be set aside and used to produce subsequent Foundation Seed.


Highline, was favorably reviewed by the National Alfalfa and Miscellaneous Small Legume Variety Review Board in January 1996.  Plant Variety Protection, Title V, was issued in February 2007, Certificate no. 9800030.  Under these protections, Highline can only be sold in commercial seed channels as a class of certified seed.


Foundation seed of Highline is distributed by the University of California Foundation Seed Program to licensed brokers and seed houses twice annually, fall and spring.  Off-cycle requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

To obtain information and/or a license for Highline contact the University of California, Davis Technology Transfer Center:

Michael Carriere
Business Development and Intellectual Property Manager
UC Davis Innovation Access
University of California, Davis
1850 Research Park Drive
Davis, California 95616
Tel. (530) 754-8462