18 November 2011

More genes: flower number

Peas that carry multiple pods per node are considered more desirable - although some reports suggest that rather than increasing yield, it may reduce it - the plant puts extra resources into flower and pod production, depleting the overall performance of the plant. I haven't done any tests, but I like the idea of compact plants producing lots of pods, so I'm thinking of trying for pultiple flowers.
This is controlled by two recessive genes, fn, and fna.

They are interactive -fn or fna alone gives two flowers, fn fna together gives two or more flowers. However, the genes may be incompletely expressed; flower number is also influenced by environmental conditions.

#1836, a tall multiflowered pea from Greece, showing repeated double flowering nodes
Some of my multi-flower lines alternate single flowered nodes with double flowered nodes - Melting Mammoth for example. But some of my Jovian accessions, Salahi, a white flowered semi dwarf fibrepodded pea from Nepal, or #1836 a purple flowered from Greece, for example has almost all double flowers - perhaps there is some gene interaction going on, that partially overrides the environmental limitations on the other varieties.

It would be nice to get both fn and fna - I will probably need to cross a number of multiflowered lines to see if I have both genes...

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