Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 16, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Southern peas grown for home use and fresh markets are harvested by hand when the pods are filled, but before they start to dry. Several harvests are made, and virtually all of the harvested product consists of high quality green peas. However, all southernpeas grown in the U.S. for processing are harvested mechanically. Since most harvesting equipment can only be used to harvest relatively mature pods, the choice to harvest mechanically is a compromise between cost and product quality. For example, harvesting with an axial-flow grain combine results in just 12% green peas. About seven years ago, an effort was initiated at the U.S. Vegetable Laboratory in Charleston, SC., to incorporate a newly discovered gene conditioning the green cotyledon trait into the most popular type of southernpea grown in the U.S., the pinkeye purple hull. These efforts resulted in the May 1997 release of Charleston Greenpack. The new cultivar can be harvested at the near-dry stage of pod maturity without loss of the pea's fresh green color. Except for the green cotyledon trait, Charleston Greenpack is quite similar in appearance to the leading pinkeye-type cultivars Coronet and Pinkeye Purple Hull-BVR. The green cotyledon trait has been the subject of much interest among frozen food processors, and rapid adoption of Charleston Greenpack is anticipated.
Technical Abstract: The USDA has released a new, pinkeye-type southernpea cultivar that is homozygous for the gc gene conditioning the green cotyledon trait. The new cultivar, named Charleston Greenpack, can be harvested at the near-dry stage of pod maturity without loss of the pea's fresh green color. Charleston Greenpack originated as a bulk of an F8 [Kiawah x (Kiawah x Bettergreen)] population grown in 1994. Except for the green seed color, a tendency for a slightly smaller pea size, the phenotype of Charleston Greenpack is quite similar to those of Coronet and Pinkeye Purple Hull-BVR (BVR). The base color of field-grown Charleston Greenpack peas harvested upon reaching "dry-stage" maturity is light olive; the color is present in both the seed coat and the cotyledons. By comparison, the seed coats and cotyledons of Coronet and BVR peas harvested at a similar stage of maturity exhibit no green pigmentation. The results of 1996 replicated field tests indicate that of Charleston Greenpack yields are comparable to those of Coronet and BVR. Results of raw product evaluations conducted at a commercial freezing facility indicate that Charleston Greenpack produces an excellent processed product. Charleston Greenpack has excellent field resistance to blackeye cowpea mosaic virus, the major pathogen of southernpea in the U.S.