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Ra x Unity

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  • Ra x Unity

    I'm almost ready to sow the F2 of this cross, so I thought it might be a good time to write a bit about it in anticipation of the beautiful segregation that will happen this year!

    Ra is an accession I got from GRIN in 2014, picked because it has pale pink flowers. It's quite short, and has green pods. Haven't tasted it so I don't really have much other information other than the genetic stuff it was labelled with. It was intended to introduce the pale pink colour into my Rainbow Pea project but I got distracted by the idea of crossing it to Unity... Ra's flowers are pale pink because it combines the b allele that gives peas like Elisabeth their beautiful pink colour with the ar allele that makes flowers violet instead of the wild type maroon. arar bb makes pale pink. It's quite subtle and pretty.

    Unity came from JIC and has absolutely gorgeous crimson flowers. It grows to about a metre tall and also has green pods and the seeds have a very interesting pattern of brown markings. The crimson colour comes from the cr allele.

    I was really excited to find out that crossing these two peas will (hopefully) produce several flower colours that are brand new to me! So I made the cross and the F1 made me some lovely brown-marked F2 seeds for me to grow this year. Interestingly, the F1 flowers were a bit unusual in that they started out a lovely wine red colour before turning the normal maroon.

    Here's what I expect from the cross:
    27/64 Ar_ B_ Cr_ Purple
    9/64 Ar_ B_ crcr Crimson
    9/64 Ar_ bb Cr_ Pink
    3/64 Ar_ bb crcr Antique Rose
    9/64 arar B_ Cr_ Violet
    3/64 arar B_ crcr Light Mauve
    3/64 arar bb Cr_ Pale Pink
    1/64 arar bb crcr I don't know what this colour will be!

    I have 91 seeds so there's a very good chance I'll end up with most of the colours, but possibly not the unknown mystery 1/64 type. I'm really interested in the new antique rose and light mauve colours - mostly I made the cross just to see them, but there might be something good in there that's worth keeping...
    Last edited by Silverleaf; 20-03-2016, 04:53.

  • #2
    In the forth picture with the seeds, there are two that are more reddish than the others. Are you growing these separately? What does the seed colour difference tell us at this stage? Or is it not possible to draw any conclusions.

    Well normal fading of maroon flowers happens to blue, Is the wine red to maroon a flower aging change along similar lines (just with different colours?) 91 seeds is a lot to grow out. Fortunately eventual height should be fairly obvious at the seedling stages, so you can plant accordingly. Otherwise small plants will be entirely swamped by taller ones. I presume you will sow indoors and transplant. How will you plant, in a bunch or in a grid. I had mine spaced about 20-25cm apart in lines and still struggled to keep some types apart. They were just so different in whether and how many side shoots they produced.

    ​Good luck for getting the colours you are looking for, especially the unknown rare one.

    The colouring of the seeds is like the 'maple peas' (Latvian Soup etc) including the dark hilum.


    • #3
      Since I'm concentrating on flower colour I'm not really worried about the seed colour so I'm not bothering to select or separate for that. Unity has that same pattern so that's clearly where it comes from.

      Not sure exactly what's going on with the wine-coloured F1 flowers, but genetically they should be the standard wild type maroon. I assume there's something else going on, some combination of other genes that have tweaked the colour slightly. I mean, there are lots of different shades of anthocyanins combining to make that maroon - just reducing the blue colours a bit could make that wine colour. Who knows?

      91 seeds is a lot, I know, but I need to grow a lot to give me the best chance of seeing the widest variety of colours. I was planning to grow them in a block in one of my planter boxes so they'll be pretty closely spaced. Since I don't have room to physically separate them I was thinking that I would just mark every single flower according to its colour and save the colours separately. With so many plants and three different genes that need to combine in the right way, it would be too much to keep track of individual plants.

      Like I said though, I'm not really expecting to get anything useful out of this cross, since the parents have been bred only for their genetic oddities rather than for culinary purposes. But I might be pleasantly surprised! Mostly I just want to see those colours.

      i am quite likely to change my mind about how I'll grow and save seed from these. Depends how things go.


      • Galina
        Galina commented
        Editing a comment
        Just been browsing this website when the colour of the pea blossom in the photo caught my eye. A 'wild' type and very similar to your F1, especially the flower on the right with the near white standards.

    • #4
      Recessive cr contains delphinidins and according to wiki they are soil ph sensitive. What ph is your soil? The colours might be different in different locations for this reason. Well if the seeds are anything to go by, this type of seed I only know from non-sweet peas. Good luck with this and your other crosses.


      • Galina
        Galina commented
        Editing a comment
        If there are differences that could be explained by soil ph on top of differences in flower aging, how easy will it be to tell the different types apart in a group? I am not trying to make difficulty where there is none, just having been through the experiences of Elisabeth's b that can be almost white and almost crimson for no apparent reason. This is not due to any crosses (we have checked them and found that the almost white as well as the crimson type - what I called the White Elisabeth and the Redder Elisabeth - have both displayed normal pink colours again the following generation. This has left me wondering at the range within one colour. Being able to tell 4 of them apart with confidence, is quite a job.

        PS: just remembered that even the cross between the Redder and standard Elisabeth came back pink as normal, another proof that the colour range I had within the b pink colour is not due to any genetic changes.
        Last edited by Galina; 19-03-2016, 10:39.

      • Silverleaf
        Silverleaf commented
        Editing a comment
        Oh yes, of course there could be environmental differences.

        The F1s are Crcr though, so should in theory be indistinguishable from the ordinary standard purple/maroon. F1s of other crosses showing wild type purple flowers looked normal, and all were grown in the same compost (cheapie B&Q peat-free stuff).

        Basically, I don't know what's going on! We'll see if the wine colour shows up in the F2.

    • #5
      The ar gene is also responsible for delphinidin blueish hues, so the cross has the potential to environmental ph changes on both sides. This could easily explain the discrepancies in the F1 flower.


      • #6
        Of course, what I'm forgetting is that there could be codominance happening, making the heterozygotes distinguishable from homozygous dominants. I doubt this is the case, but it's good to keep an open mind to the possibility. The F2 will probably rule this out for me. If, however, we see wild type purple AND wine (in something like the expected ratio), I'll rethink.


        • #7
          From previous years of growing different flower colours in close proximity, I'm not expecting to have any problems telling the colours apart. The plants may of course surprise me though!


          • #8
            Loving these


            • #9
              I'm not 100% sure, but I think I have one of the new colours!

              I wasn't expecting to get anything interesting as most of my plants didn't survive and they aren't looking that good, but I spotted this flower today... it doesn't look like an ordinary pink to me. Hopefully this is the "antique rose pink" - what do you think?


              • #10
                This could well be. No as you say, it does not look like normal pink. Please take lots of photos of the same flower - and - fingers crossed


                • #11
                  More pics tomorrow then!

                  It'll help when Elisabeth (which is definitely bb) flowers so I can compare the two directly, but I'm already convinced that it isn't the usual b pink - it's a deeper colour with a little more purple. It's very pretty anyway!


                  • Galina
                    Galina commented
                    Editing a comment
                    This is definitely not Elisabeth pink, unless the photo is very inaccurate in its hue. Yes please more photos.

                • #12
                  It does look different in that picture, but sometimes the colours develop with age so not completely sure. Fingers crossed, perhaps in the next pictures...


                  • #13
                    It's cloudy today and the white balance is shifted so the whole picture is a touch more yellow than yesterday's.

                    The flower is very slightly more blue than yesterday and it's developed a pale pink-purple colour on the standard but it's definitely not b pink and not wild type purple.


                    • #14
                      I do agree - hope you will get pods, especially since the plants weren't too strong. Are you going for a cross with Telephone this year?


                      • #15
                        If only Telephone wasn't aa, I don't want to have to deal with no-antho popping up all the time!

                        I would like to make a cross but I'm not sure what with just yet.