Seed yield and protein content in the Weibullsholm Pisum collection
In Europe, agriculture is highly dependent on imported soybean from South America. Potential alternative sources are protein from peas (Pisum sativum L.) or more local sources like other grain legumes or rapeseed meal (Brassica napus L. subsp. oliefera). These are also good rotation crops. For farmers, protein and yield are key traits. In this study, a dataset containing 37 descriptors and 1222 accessions from a germplasm collection of P. sativum was analyzed. Scatterplot matrixes and tree regression analysis were used to establish the relationship among descriptors and to identify the most important predictors for seed yield and protein content respectively. Number of flowers per plant was shown to be important for seed yield prediction, followed by number of inflorescences per plant and number of pods per plant. In general, a negative correlation between seed protein content and seed yield was detected, but a few accessions that had both high seed yield and high protein content were identified. The results are discussed in relation to crop improvement and the importance of maintaining germplasm collections.