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An assessment of standing ability in peas: analysis of stem strength and tissue architecture - AR0104

This project aims to identify characters contributing to standing ability in peas by analysing in detail cell wall components and stem architecture. It uses a multidisciplinary approach using morphological, chemical, physical, microscopical (including infrared microspectroscopy) techniques coupled to genetic variation with the ultimate goal of indentifying the genetic basis of straw strength.
From the information acquired in the project, it should be possible in the future to carry out the biorational manipulation of standing ability by conventional plant breeding or by genetic manipulation to the benefit of pea growers and users in the food and feed industries. The research is in accordance with MAFF Forward Objectives, A3 (a) (ii), the Pea Review (27.7.97) taken from ROAME A Programme 8 Policy document in which standing ability has already been identified as a way of significantly improving the crop yield potential and harvestibility.
1. Growth analysis

(a) to collect data on stem width and internode length of genotypes listed in 10 (Approach 1) by October 1998.
(b) to obtain detailed timing of stem collapse in at least 4 contrasting pea genotypes using time lapse video microscopy by April 1999.

2. Cellular and tissue architecture

(a) to analyse gross stem and tissue morphologies of different genotypes in 1(a) using cryoscanning electron microscopy by April 1999 .
(b) to obtain sectioned material throughout the development of 4 contrasting pea genotypes by October 1999.
(c) to obtain sections from above stained histochemically for the presence of cellulose, lignin and pectin by April 2000.
(d) to obtain sections from above immunohistochemically-labelled using antibodies to specific cell wall epitopes by April 2000.
(e) to obtain cryosectioned material from different genotypes suitable for infrared microspectroscopy by April 2000.
(f) to analyse cryosections for cell wall components using a computerised stage and IR spectroscopy and map distribution of components for which appropriate stains and antibodies are not available by April 2000.

3. Chemistry of cell walls

(a) to prepare cell wall material from at least 4 different genotypes throughout development by October 1999.
(b) to analyse cell wall material, essentially by colorimetric assay, for cellulose, lignin, uronic acids, protein, methyl and phenolic esters by April 2000.
(c) to obtain neutral sugar and linkage data for cell wall material by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry by April 2000.

4. Biophysics of stems

(a) to obtain NMR spectra of internode sections from different pea genotypes by October 2000.
(b) to obtain measurements of strength of stem segments sampled along the stems of different genotypes by October 2000.

5. Genetics

(a) to identify, by comparison between genotypes of data sets from different techniques, suitable characteristics contributing to straw strength for use in crossing experiments by October 2000.
(b) to undertake analyses of additional genotypes under 2-4, if no suitable characteristics can be identified by April 2001.
(c) to undertake crosses between extreme ’straw-strength’ genotypes for eventual genetical analysis by April 2001.
(d) to undertake further development of the programme by April 2001.
Project Documents
• Final Report : An assessment of standing ability in peas: analysis of stem strength and tissue architecture   (771k)
• Executive Summary : An assessment of standing ability in peas: analysis of stem strength and tissue architecture   (44k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1998

To: 2004

Cost: £308,971
Contractor / Funded Organisations
John Innes Centre (BBSRC)
Arable Farming              
Crop Improvement              
Fields of Study
Arable Crops