Gene mapping aids field pea breeding

SAGIT: Gene mapping of heat-tolerant field peas

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Field pea breeders will soon be able to harness traits for heat tolerance.

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HEAT TEST: SARDI Crop Improvement Program senior research scientist Phil Davies is testing crossed species field peas for heat tolerance through simulated heat events.

HEAT TEST: SARDI Crop Improvement Program senior research scientist Phil Davies is testing crossed species field peas for heat tolerance through simulated heat events.

FIELD pea breeders will soon be able to harness traits for increased tolerance to heat stress as genetic analysis nears completion.

SARDI Crop Improvement Science Program senior research scientist Phil Davies is leading the genetic analysis for these traits through both glasshouse experiments and simulated heat events.

The two-year SAGIT-funded project involves a population of Kaspa field peas crossed with Algerian line 21DZA that has previously shown signs of heat tolerance in testing.

The plants that display heat tolerance will be used to develop molecular markers for plant breeders to select for heat-tolerant varieties.

Simulated heat events are being conducted across three 40-degree days and 30-degree nights and glasshouse experiments are examining the role of moisture stress on the genetic control.

Most field peas wouldn't survive the testing we're doing, but the young pods of these plants are surviving. - PHIL DAVIES

Researchers are then examining the plants for signs of stress including overall integrity, pod dropping, yield and quality.

"The Algerian line has previously been identified to withstand severe heat," Dr Davies said.

"Most field peas wouldn't survive the testing we're doing, but the young pods of these plants are surviving.

"That characteristic will form the basis of breeding for this trait."

During the next few months, Dr Davies will compare genetic DNA data with observations of the plants under stress. This will allow him to match particular sequences with the tolerant plants and eventually pass on the key markers for tolerance.

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