27 October 2012

Red Podded Pea Project

Inspired by Rebsie Fairholm's discoveries of a few years ago, I thought I would set out to intentionally create some red podded lines of peas. I crossed 'Golden Podded', a not very nice yellow podded 'snow' pea, with 'Purple Podded'. I've quotation marked Golden Podded, since it doesn't make a very nice snow pea, and I'm not convinced it carries both of the genes for low fibre.
Anyway, the F1 seeds of the cross were sown in late summer, and I grew them out over autumn and winter. I went away for holidays in winter, and when I got back the peas of this cross - and a few others - had matured, and the pods were hanging in the drying plants. But when I removed them, lots of them had shrivelled roots and shoots curled up in the dry pods. They had sprouted in the pod, probably following some damp weather while I was away.
Rather than throw the lot out, I salvaged what I could, and anything that looked like it had sprouted was sown into a seedling flat. To my surprise, lots of these sprouted into healthy plants.

Since this wasn't one of my core projects, and I wasn't sure how they would grow, I made a new bed along my fence with the next door playground.

They have been growing for a couple of months, and just started to flower. The F2's are segregating for pod colour
Purple and green

half purple,

and half red!
Note the pale bracts.
A couple of weeks until I can be sure if any of the low fibre genes have carried over.
There are still a few plants I'm waiting on to set flowers, so there might even be a full red lurking in here.
But this red blush is a most exciting development.

09 October 2012

It's getting well into spring, and the last of my F2 plants are drying down their last pods. I'm so keen to try for a spring generation, but not sure if I can afford the bed space for sufficiently numerous growouts for proper assessment.

The good news is one of my autumn F2 growouts from summer grown seed has produced a half purple snow! As a bonus, it's sweet as well. I've only got about 12 seeds off it - powdery mildew has really hammered the winter grown plants.

In my impatience, I've sown 3 seeds of this Plant 6 half purple, just to see if it is homo or heterozygous for half purple. I know, too small a number for any real assessment, but if i get a green pod plant out of the three I've sown, at least I know its hetero.

I've also sown 10 seeds from Plant 4, a full fibered full purple plant, which was the earliest to set seed. Hoping to get at least a half snow out of it.