14 November 2011

Some genes of note 2: stem length.

 Personally, I prefer medium height veges - I'm a bit over all the staking and tying up required for monster vegetables - towering 9 foot tomatoes and beans that are out of reach all require extra work in the garden - I prefer a neat plant head high or less. Where folks are limited for space I can see the point, or for boasting rights, but the structure needed to hold up a huge fully loaded tomato plant for example is considerable. While I am a bit limited for space, the defining limitation in my central Victorian garden is water, followed by nutrients, then sunlight. If I want to optimise variety, then smaller plants with modest requirements are what I need. Less energy put into construction means more time and energy for other stuff. So I would like to breed dwarfism into my peas.
My go-to genetic resource, the JI database has some interesting info on stem length in peas.

 Genes coh, cona, and cot all shorten internodes. The database is silent on how these interact.
Long internodes
le shortens internodes and gives a zigzag stem pattern
lh gives a 60-70% reduction in internode length
lka gives reduced internodes and "reduced branching and peduncle length, stem banding"
lkb and lkc also reduce internode length, with other physiological changes.
lm reduces internodes but effects  roots.
lw gives "reduced internode length by 50%. Delayed flowering especially under short days"
na is "compact dwarf with extremely shortened internodes"
Short internodes on Delta Louisa - perhaps a hint of zig zag?

So, I wonder which of these genes is regulating internode length in Delta Louisa, Oreson Spring, Sugar Snap Bush, and Sahali, all of which exhibit short or shortish stems...

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