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Turner's Spring rabbit-eared rogues

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  • Turner's Spring rabbit-eared rogues

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    In 2020 I obtained Turner's Spring from that year's HSL Seed List. I grew them in the same season for seed increase, pretty much leaving them to their own devices due to circumstances. I only observed the taste (which was wonderful) and the dry seeds' appearance when it was harvest time. A single pod had mixed up seeds: yellow, green, round, wrinkled, and quite small. I presumed they were the result of a random cross, and saved them separately.

    Being short on space this season I chose not to grow the offtype seeds. But I planted plenty of the type seed for seed guardian contributions; 100% wrinkled & green.

    Over the past 2-3 weeks the growth has really exploded, and while many of the plants began to develop gigantic features, a high proportion of them were notable for quite the opposite. These scrawny plants were just as tall, but had slightly darker foliage, smaller flowers with sepals that were more pointed in shape, small pointy leaflets, bloomed 3-4 days earlier, and had the unmissable bunny ear stipules.

    I had read of rabbit-eared rogues here and there in the past, and thought not much of them - but seeing them up close, in contrast to the regular plants, was striking. And I experienced equal amounts of excitement and alarm...

    Some varieties are more prone to 'rabbiting' than others. The change is epigenetic and permanent; cross a non-rabbit to a rabbit-eared and all offspring, in all subsequent generations, will be rabbit-eared.

    Bateson & Pellew studied them in 1920 and their findings are definitely worth a read https://royalsocietypublishing.org/d...rspb.1920.0009

    So it's imperative to keep on the lookout for these rogues, in particular for the Turner's Spring variety.
    I've let the HSL know so they can tell other guardians. Apparently the whole batch was sent out to members that year. No idea whether they intend on notifying all recipients of the seeds. But I'm hoping they will because vigourous roguing is essential to this variety's maintenance, at least in the short term.

    I'm now growing some of the offtype seeds, just to see their characteristics, though I have the assumption that their appearance was due to the rogue factor.

  • #2
    I think mine are ok. What do you think? Only 4 plants this year, as I used up my second 5 seeds. Thank you for the warning Triffid.


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    Last edited by Galina; 18-06-2021, 15:07.

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    • Jang
      Jang commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes, interesting. I believe epigenetic features are triggered by interaction with environment? If so, and if it turns out that out of three growers of this particular batch of seeds, only one manifests rogue characteristics, then that would be a pleasingly clear illustration of that.

      But can I also go back to the question of the off-type seeds which you put to one side? They certainly seem to suggest something odd was going on, but that would be in the previous generation whereas presumably roguing would simply have been triggered in this present generation.

    • triffid
      triffid commented
      Editing a comment
      I'm not entirely certain. The environmental conditions last year may have triggered a change in some plants, which got passed on in the seeds.
      The off-type seeds may or may not be related to the rogue factor. Could they be an incidental cross? I guess we'll have some enlightenment once the three I've planted develop a little. Certainly a head-scratcher.

    • Galina
      Galina commented
      Editing a comment
      A head scratcher indeed and we are grateful for the warning Triffid. Developing a stipule spotting obsession here. The biggest I have are Doug Bray of Grimsby. Two stipules are as large as the palm of my hand!

  • #3
    I hope you don't mind me quoting your comment here from the The mysterious loss of purple gene(s) in peas thread.

    As above, great links.

    Not sure which references - on rogues or purpling?
    I have rabbit-eared rogue links here https://royalsocietypublishing.org/d...rspb.1920.0009
    https://www.jic.ac.uk/research-impac...-eared-rogues/

    I should really make a seperate topic about it as I've found so many in my Turner's Spring peas this year that I had to notify the HSL. I know others here might be growing the variety.

    Comment


    • #4
      Long, but not exceptional.



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      • triffid
        triffid commented
        Editing a comment
        Looks about right, but from pods this size you're getting 8-9 peas?

      • Galina
        Galina commented
        Editing a comment
        Haven't shelled them yet, but looks like it counting bumps.

    • #5
      The off-type seeds appear to be the result of a cross. Of the three sown this month, the plants from the round seeds have antho in the axils and one has purple tendrils; the plant from the wrinkled seed that looked true-to-type has no antho, so probably not the result of stray pollen. Pic below shows all 11 that came from a single pod - planted one seed of each phenotype.

      As for the rabbit-eared plants, I haven't culled all of them, as I'd like to see their pods and seeds, and perhaps taste a few. But their occurence would appear to be a separate incident from the 'rogue' seeds.


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      Last edited by triffid; 25-06-2021, 20:11.

      Comment


      • Jang
        Jang commented
        Editing a comment
        Interesting and a little surprising to have two apparently fairly random but unconnected occurrences from a pea variety, given that peas are usually comparatively consistent in their behaviour.

      • Galina
        Galina commented
        Editing a comment
        This is what I understood from the articles you cited. Everything stays the same, including same genes, bar the rabbit ears. So different colour seeds must be caused by something else.

      • jayb
        jayb commented
        Editing a comment
        They look very much like some of the selections I get with segregating peas.
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