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Open Access Research article

Growth, seed development and genetic analysis in wild type and Def mutant of Pisum sativum L

Kwadwo Owusu Ayeh1, YeonKyeong Lee2, Mike J Ambrose3 and Anne Kathrine Hvoslef-Eide2*

Author Affiliations

1 The Biotechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Research Institute (BNARI), Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), P.O.Box Lg. 80, Legon-Accra, Ghana

2 Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, P.O. BOX 5003, 1432 Aas, Norway

3 Department of Crops Genetics, John Innes Centre, Norwich Research Park, Colney Lane, NR4 7UH Norwich, UK

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:489  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-489

Published: 11 November 2011



The def mutant pea (Pisum sativum L) showed non-abscission of seeds from the funicule. Here we present data on seed development and growth pattern and their relationship in predicting this particular trait in wild type and mutant lines as well as the inheritance pattern of the def allele in F2 and F3 populations.


Pod length and seed fresh weight increase with fruit maturity and this may affect the abscission event in pea seeds. However, the seed position in either the distal and proximal ends of the pod did not show any difference. The growth factors of seed fresh weight (FW), width of funicles (WFN), seed width (SW) and seed height (SH) were highly correlated and their relationships were determined in both wild type and def mutant peas. The coefficient of determination R2 values for the relationship between WFN and FW, SW and SH and their various interactions were higher for the def dwarf type. Stepwise multiple regression analysis showed that variation of WFN was associated with SH and SW. Pearson's chi square analysis revealed that the inheritance and segregation of the Def locus in 3:1 ratio was significant in two F2 populations. Structural analysis of the F3 population was used to confirm the inheritance status of the Def locus in F2 heterozygote plants.


This study investigated the inheritance of the presence or absence of the Def allele, controlling the presence of an abscission zone (AZ) or an abscission-less zone (ALZ) forming in wild type and mutant lines respectively. The single major gene (Def) controlling this phenotype was monogenic and def mutants were characterized and controlled by the homozygous recessive def allele that showed no palisade layers in the hilum region of the seed coat.