Genetics and chemistry of flower colour variation inLathyrus odoratus


1. The inheritance of two new flower colour factors—bright and salmon—is described. Bright is an incomplete recessive, and salmon a recessive factor hypostatic to red (e).

2. Two factors, red (e) and salmon (sm), are associated with a difference in the degree of oxidation of the anthocyanins in the flowers, and with a similar difference in the leucoanthocyanins in the seed coats.

3. One factor, dull (d), is associated with a difference ofpH in the cell sap of the flowers.

4. At least seven factors—dark wing (dw), copper (k), maroon (m), mauve (co); bright (br), picotee (p) and hooded (h)—are associated with differences in the relative amounts of anthocyanin and anthoxanthin co-pigment.

5. Variation in methylation of the anthocyanin is correlated with the quantity of anthoxanthin.

6. Variation in glycosidal residues has not so far been associated with any genetic factor.

7.Lathyrus odoratus agrees very closely with plants of other genera in regard to the inheritance of comparable chemical differences.

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Correspondence to G. H. Beale.

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Beale, G.H., Robinson, G.M., Robinson, R. et al. Genetics and chemistry of flower colour variation inLathyrus odoratus . Journ. of Genetics 37, 375 (1939).

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  • Flower Colour
  • Cyanidin
  • Delphinidin
  • Modern Variety
  • Pelargonidin