The Pisum Genetics Association (PGA) is a non-profit, unicorporated organization established to foster genetic study of the pea, to facilitate the exchange of information and to ensure preservation of valuable genetic stocks. Pisum Genetics (formerly The Pisum Newsletter) is the principal means of meeting these aims. Published annually in one issue, Pisum Genetics contains reports of research finding and other information of interest to researchers studying the genus Pisum. The PGA currently has 110 members from 24 countries.

Membership and dues
Membership of the PGA is open to all interested persons and organizations. Dues are $15 U.S. per annum. These dues are used to help defray the costs of publishing and mailing Pisum Genetics. Members are encouraged to pay dues for two or more years to simplify bookkeeping. Members are also requested to send checks or bank drafts in U.S. currency only. Such efforts avoid bank charges, which can exceed $10.00 per check in some currencies. Please make checks payable to Pisum Genetics Association and send to Prof. N.F. Weeden, Dept. of Horticultural Sciences, Cornell University, Geneva, New York 14456 USA. Pisum Genetics will be sent on receipt of dues.

A new Editor, Prof N.F. Weeden has assumed responsibility for Pisum Genetics (ph: 1-315-787-2245; fax: 1-315-787-2320; email: It is with considerable trepidation that the new Editor takes the wheel. Prof. Murfet has done an outstanding job maintaining the quality of the journal and attracting reviews on contemporary subjects from leading researchers in the field. We are greatly indebted to him for stepping forward after the untimely death of Prof. G.A. Marx and providing a smooth transition to publication out of Hobart. In addition, Prof Murfet has been extremely helpful in assisting the new Editor and forwarding critical information and materials in a well organized format. Errors in the format or in mailing of this and future issues of Pisum Genetics are solely the responsibility of the current Editor. The Editor wishes to extend his sincere thanks for all Prof. Murfet’s help and encouragement, as well as the biographical notes on Stig Blixt and Earl Gritton.

Relatively few changes are invisioned under the new Editor. Slight format changes have been made, and spelling will be in American English rather than the Queen’s. One important change is that manuscripts will now be accepted and processed in two formats. The traditional format of a research paper will continue. Manuscripts submitted as research papers will be subjected to peer review and revision or rejection if not of the quality expected and maintained by the previous Editor. As in the past, such research papers should be written concisely, with a short introduction presenting the background to and aim of the study, a materials and methods section with essential details and references to techniques, a results section and discussion section interpreting the results and integrating findings with those of other workers. Section headings are not obligatory. Length should be kept under five journal pages, but longer papers will be considered on their merits. Such research papers must be treated similarly to submissions to other refereed journals in that they should contain original work not currently submitted to any other journal.

Brief Communications
The second type of submission, making its first appearance in the current volume, is the brief communication. The purpose of this type of submission is to encourage a rapid sharing of new results that may not meet the standards of a research paper (i.e. allelism tests not completed, preliminary map locations, experiments lacking an appropriate control). Brief communications will not be subjected to peer review, although the Editor reserves the right to screen papers for appropriateness and to review submissions for clarity and brevity. Such submissions will be limited to one page and should be narrowly focused. Otherwise, the format of brief communications (tables, references, etc.) should correspond to that of a research paper. Publication of a brief communication in Pisum Genetics should not preclude publication of a full paper on that subject in a later issue or in another journal.

Other Communications
Other types of communications are also accepted. Review articles are usually obtained by invitation. However, the Editor would welcome inquiries or suggestions regarding possible review topics. Abstracts may be submitted of work to be published elsewhere. Issues of interest to members may be discussed as a forum topic or raised as letters to the editor. Papers will not be rejected because the English is not fluent, but the meaning must be clear, the science sound and the presentation logical.

Electronic Submission
Most contributions are received by email with articles as attachments. The Editor greatly encourages such submissions. Cornell University uses Eudora e-mail, Mac computers and Microsoft 98 as standard formats, but we have the capability of translating from most common word processing programs. The final layout is formatted in PageMaker. Photographs can be sent by JPEG. Figures generated on various programs are sometimes hard to convert to PageMaker. Hence, sending hard copies of figures is recommended. We expect to continue to have Pisum Genetics on the internet. Vol. 29 can be accessed online at the site for the Institute of Cytology and Genetics in Novosibirsk, Russia: ( and

Dr. Stig Blixt
This volume pays special honor to Dr. Stig Blixt for his pioneering work in the collection and characterization of Pisum germplasm and assembling the classical linkage map (see cover and accompanying biographical sketch by Prof. I.C. Murfet. Dr. Blixt was a founding member of the PGA, and his dedication to and many accomplishments involving Pisum motivated the Coordinating Committee to award him a richly deserved life membership in the PGA. It is particularly appropriate to honor Dr. Blixt in this issue, for the issue also features an updated version of the pea linkage map. This map finally resolves all major questions regarding the conformation and composition of the seven linkage groups and makes a tentative assignment of each linkage group to a particular chromosome. Dr. Blixt played an important part in the initial work toward each of these objectives. Credit for the cover drawing belongs to Ms. Elaine Gotham, who also served as the cover artist for Prof. Marx during his editorship.

Linkage Map Coordinator
With Prof. Weeden assuming the editorship of Pisum Genetics, the duties of Linkage Map Coordinator will now shift to Dr. Noel Ellis (John Innes Institute, Colney Lane, Norwich NR4 7UH, UK; fax 44 1603 507846; email:, who has kindly agreed to take over guidance of the Linkage Committee. Dr. Ellis has played a leading role in the development and mapping of DNA markers in Pisum and has contributed substantially to the current and previous versions of the linkage map. There is still much to be done, including the locating of many important mutants on the map, making a saturated map out of real genes rather than simple RAPD markers, and developing a more extensive set of practical anchor loci.

Symbols and Nomenclature
Another rapidly progressing area in plant genetics is that of gene nomenclature and symbols. With the availability of the genomic sequence for Arabidopsis thaliana and many gene sequences being published from other species, a uniform system for naming genes is both an important and practical goal. Mr. Mike Ambrose (John Innes Institute, Colney Lane, Norwich NR4 7UH, UK; FAX 44 1603 456844; email: continues as Coordinator of Gene Symbols. If you are proposing a new gene symbol please check with Mike that the symbol is free and appropriate.An internet site which is attempting to develop a consistent nomenclatural system for genes can be found at Further comments regarding gene symbols can be found in the Forum section of this volume (pp. 31-32). In due course, please send type lines for new genes and alleles, and relevant reprints, to Mike.

USDA Pisum Collection
Dr. Clare Coyne has taken over responsibility for the USDA Pisum collection at Pullman, WA. We welcome Clare to this position and give her our strong support. The previous curator, Dr. Chuck Simon, has moved to Davis, CA as the Director of the USDA Clonal Germplasm Repository there. We wish him all the best as well, and thank him for his highly successful curatorship while at Pullman. Dr. Coyne will also have responsibility for the G.A. Marx Pisum Genetics Stocks Collection. Requests and inquiries can be addressed to Dr. Clarice Coyne, USDA-ARS, 59 Johnson Hall, WSU, Pullman, WA 99164, ph: 1-509-335-9522, email:

Thanks to those member (and non-members) of the PGA who assisted with the refereeing of the manuscripts. A special thanks to Ian Murfet, who proofread the penultimate draft of may of the articles and significantly improved the quality and consistency of the final product. Thanks also to Elaine Gotham and Linda McCandless for their contributions and help in the production of this volume, and a particular thanks to my wife, Cathy, who produced the final layout and the final version of the linkage map. Finally, considerable thanks to Serge Rozov and fellow workers for their development and maintenence of the internet site for Pisum Genetics.

Financial Report
Financial Report for the period Oct 1 1997 to Sep 30 1998. This period includes the production and mailing of Pisum Genetics Volume 29. All sums are in Australian dollars except funds in Geneva, NY, which are in US dollars. Our balance of funds increased by AU$ 1699.22 at Hobart and US$ 5.54 at Geneva, NY. We remain in a sound position to cover the costs of mailing to some deserving members who have difficulty paying, to cover future issues to members who have paid well in advance, and to cover, if needs be, the cost of mailing a large issue.

Hobart balance brought forward (AU$)                         9000.91
    Subscriptions                                                         2482.00
    Bank interest (net of duties and fees)                                249.64
Total income                                                             2731.64

    Printing and mailing                                                 1032.42
Total expenditures                                                         1032.42

Hobart balance as at September 30 1998:
    Commonwealth Bank a/c 767102.5002314                  5115.81
    Commonwealth Bank a/c 7104 5001 6807                   5569.62
    Cash on hand                                                                    14.70
Total                                                                             10,700.13

Geneva, NY balance (US$):
Sav. Bank Finger Lakes a/c 01-11030029                           252.28
Total                                                                           252.28


 N.F. Weeden
for the Coordinating Committee:
S. Blixt I. Murfet N. Weeden N. Ellis J. Reid O. Kosterin S. Rozov F. Muehlbauer W.K. Swiecicki