PNL Volume 15
Baumunk-Wende, E.
Federal Research Centre for Horticultural
Plant Breeding, Ahrensburg
Federal Republic of Germany
I pointed out in 19 80 ( 3) that further genetical analyses of seed-
coat characters in garden peas would be desirable in order to establish
whether a new gene is responsible for the determination of the seed coat
color. Reciprocal crosses were made between cultivars with white and
dark green seedcoats. The results indicated a 3:1 monohybrid segrega-
tion, which other authors may have failed to recognize because the
seedcoat is maternal tissue and is determined by the maternal genotype.
The seedcoat is white (or light green) if the female parent has a white
(or light green) seedcoat and it is dark green if the maternal seedcoat
is dark green. Although the segregation of the cotyledon character is
distinguishable within one pod, the seedcoat color is not.
Our genetic analyses led us to believe that we were working with a
new gene for testa color. Then, however, we conducted identity tests
with two lines from the Weibullsholm collection (WL 2133 and WL 1395)
and with the cultivars 'Esmeralda' and 'Sublima' (our new variety with
dark green seedcoat). WL 2133 is homozygous for the gene .dp first
described by Marx (2) and WL 1395 is homozygous for gla first described
by Lamprecht (1). WL 1395 has a white seedcoat. Crosses between
WL 1395 and Esmeralda (with a white seedcoat) produced peas with white
or light green seedcoats in all progenies. Segregation for testa color
in progenies of the crosses "light green ♀(female) x dark green ♂(male) ", "dark
green ♀(female) x dark green ♂(male) " and their reciprocals are given in Table 1.
The results show agreement between observed and expected values. The
complementary test with the recessive factor (dark green x dark
green ) showed no segregation for light seedcoat colors. There were
no differences between WL 2133 and Sublima. This indicates that the
dark seedcoat color is part of range of characteristics covered by the
action or dp. Therefore the description for dp, viz. deep green pod
color, should be modified and extended to include its effect on seedcoat
1. Lamprecht, H. 1959. Agri Hort. Genet. 17:1-8.
2. Marx, G. A. 1970. PNL 2:19-
3. Wende, E. 1980. PNL 12:74.
Editor's Note
It appears that the author of the above article expended con-
siderable time and effort needlessly simply because the gene
description for gene .d_p. is incomplete. I am personally responsi-
ble for this negligence and, quite likely, for other incomplete
or misleading descriptions as well. In my 1970 article
(PNL 2:19), I mentioned the effect of dp on flower, pod, and seed
color, but the gene description (PNL 10:88, 1978) mentions only
the effect on pods. This example illustrates the need for accur-
ate and complete descriptions. We hope that Pisum workers will
bring such faulty gene descriptions to our attention so that cor-
rective actions can be taken.
8 PNL Volume 15 1983