Submitted to: Economic Botany
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/28/1994
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Pod shatter, the opening of pods at maturity and expelling the seeds, is a yield reducing factor in lentil production. In this study we investigated the so-called "slashed pod" trait for it's potential for reducing losses from pod shatter. The slashes observed on the pods apparently reduces the stresses brought about during pod maturation that eventually cause the abrupt bursting of the pods and loss of the seeds. By reducing the interna stresses on the pod walls, the pods do not open. This study showed that the slashes that develop on the pods are not controlled genetically and that environment plays the predominant role in development. These results indicate that the slashed pod trait has little or no value for breeding shatter resistant germplasm. Other means of reducing shatter will need to be sought.
Technical Abstract: Reducing losses from pod shatter is a major goal of most lentil (Lens culinaris) improvement programs, however, genetic variability is limited. Recently, a slashed pod trait was suggested to have potential value for reducing losses from shattering, but little was known about the trait. In this study we determined the anatomical features which were associated with hthe slashed pod trait. Histological specimens from Brewer' lentil (norma pods) and from germplasm lines expressing the slashed pod parchment pea (Pisum sativum) lines. Reduced parchment pea pods had less sclerenchyma tissue and fewer fibers than pea pods with normal parchment, but all lentil pods examined had comparable sclerenchyma tissue with similar quantities of fiber. The slashed pod trait was not the result of reduced sclerenchyma tissue (parchment) as had been previously suggested. Apparently, the slashed pod trait resulted from the stresses which develop between fiber cells within the sclerenchyma layer of the pod wall during pod maturation and drying. The trait had little effect on quality of seeds for human utilization in the environments tested but may have an undesirable effect in other environments. Although seed loss due to shatter appeared to be decreased in pods exhibiting the trait, the uncertainty of expression due to environmental influences makes the trait an unlikely candidate for use in lentil improvement programs.