04 November 2011

The cunning plan

I've been growing snowpeas for a few years now - Yakumo, Melting Mammoth, and some other generic snowpeas. After doing a bit of reading, I realised a snow pea ain't just a snow pea. There are:
  • genes for extra large pods, (I think Yakumo carries these, but I've never grown them as big as some of my correspondents); 
  • genes for multiple flowers per node (Melting Mammoth has this but Yakumo doesn't - in fact there are two different genes for flower number, but more genetics later); 
  • genes for colour (purple pods requires 3 different genes for full expression, yellow pods is a single recessive gene, and red pods comes from a combination of purple and yellow); 
  • genes for disease resistance - powdery mildew is a problem here and there are two different genes for powdery resistance;
  • genes for stem length - 3 or more, I think, leading to degrees of dwarfism - I prefer my peas to grow less than 2 metres high so I can harvest them, and don't have to struggle with hefty supports;
  • genes for snow pea (lack of parchment in the pod) and sugar snap pea (extra thick pod wall)

No doubt there are all sorts of genes for flavour, sweetness, etc but  I can't find them on the  John Innes Pisum Gene Database

So, my dream pea:
A sweet, multiflowered, coloured, large podded, disease resistant, semi-dwarf, tasty snow pea - let the breeding begin!

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