Floral initiation in field-grown forage peas is delayed to a greater extent by short photoperiods, than in other types of European varieties
- Cite this article as:
- Lejeune-Hénaut, I., Bourion, V., Etévé, G. et al. Euphytica (1999) 109: 201. doi:10.1023/A:1003727324475
Frost is one of the main climatic stresses which has to be overcome by a winter pea crop. Some forage lines show a delayed floral initiation, which helps them to escape the main winter freezing periods, as a higher susceptibility to frost is observed after floral initiation commences. Frost tolerant forage peas have been used in all winter pea breeding programs in France and our main purpose was to evaluate to what extent those lines and the current winter varieties are variable for the date of floral initiation in field conditions. A field experiment was carried out during two years at the INRA experimental station of Mons (northern France). Different genotypes (9 in 1995–1996 and 12 in 1996–1997) were sown at approximately monthly intervals between September and June to provide a range of photothermal conditions. The date of floral initiation was determined by destructive sampling. We observed variability for the date of floral initiation among the different genotypes and sowing dates. Our data particularly highlighted the different reactions to photoperiod. Three varieties had no detectable reaction. Six varieties exhibited a quantitative response, with varied intensities. Lastly, the three forage varieties showed a qualitative, high response to photoperiod, which indicated the presence of the Hr allele, already described in Pisum.