RESEARCH, ACQUISITION, MANAGEMENT, AND DOCUMENTATION OF PLANT GENETIC RESOURCES
Location: Plant Germplasm Introduction and Testing
Title: Chapter 8. Genetic Adjustment to Changing Climates: Pea
Submitted to: Crop Adaptation to Climate Change
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: April 12, 2011
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The cool-season pea (Pisum sativum L.) is a versatile nitrogen-fixing legume, consumed as both human food (fresh and dry seed, pods, tendrils) and animal food (fresh, silage, dry pea), used as a fertilizer (green manure), and is third in world grain legume production. This chapter summarizes the crop adaptation parameters for pea (Section I) to set the stage in understanding the potential effect of climate change given the limited published studies on the abiotic effects of changing temperature, CO2, UV and precipitation on pea production, especially in combinations of the abiotic stresses from current predictive models (Section II). The need to preserve genetic resources in order to respond to climatic change was sharply bought into focus by Jarvis et al (2008) and the untapped pea genetic resources are summarized (Section III). Finally, current genetic and genomic tools and those under development for pea are considered (Section IV) summarizing strategies and tools to meet the challenges and consequences of climate shifts.
Peas are adapted to cool, semi-arid to sub-humid growing conditions and although they are widely grown throughout the world, the best performance is realized in the cool, relatively dry areas of the mid-latitudes. The literature to date on the potential effects of climate change specifically on pea production is limited. However, pea production will be effected and given the studies summarized here, a strong agroecosystem approach will be needed as clearly the parameters of climate change (CO2, temperature, UV and water) interact (Newton et al. 2007; Caldwell et al. 2007). Both the growth and utilization of pea are extremely plastic and potentially could play an important role in providing food and feed in various climate change scenarios (e.g. Burstin et al. 2007). The distributional range of extant wild and cultivated Pisum germplasm gene pools represents a dynamic and ongoing exercise in evolutionary population genetics where populations have to continue to evolve and adapt in respond to abiotic stresses. It is notable that studies to date are confined to cultivars and we lack knowledge in the genetic variation in Pisum (wild and cultivated) for adaptive traits for climatic change. Utilizing association mapping techniques,new genomic resources combined with phenotyping Pisum germplasm for climate change adaptation, rapid development of needed cultivars can be expected.