University Of Tasmania
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The genetic architecture of flowering time changes in pea from wild to crop

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Change in phenology has been an important component in crop evolution, and selection for earlier flowering through a reduction in environmental sensitivity has helped broaden adaptation in many species. Natural variation for flowering in domesticated pea (Pisum sativum L.) has been noted and studied for decades, but there has been no clear account of change relative to its wild progenitor. Here we examined the genetic control of differences in flowering time between wild P. sativum ssp. humile and a typical late-flowering photoperiodic P. s. sativum accession in a recombinant inbred population under long and short photoperiods. Our results confirm the importance of the major photoperiod sensitivity locus Hr/PsELF3a and identify two other loci on chromosomes 1 (DTF1) and 3 (DTF3) that contribute to earlier flowering in the domesticated line under both photoperiods. The domesticated allele at a fourth locus on chromosome 6 (DTF6) delays flowering under long days only. Map positions, inheritance patterns, and expression analyses in near-isogenic comparisons imply that DTF1, DTF3 and DTF6 represent gain-of-function alleles of the florigen/antiflorigen genes FTa3, FTa1 and TFL1c/LF, respectively. This echoes similar variation in chickpea and lentil, and suggests a conserved route to reduced photoperiod sensitivity and early phenology in temperate pulses.


Publication title

Journal of Experimental Botany










School of Natural Sciences


Oxford Univ Press

Place of publication

Great Clarendon St, Oxford, England, Ox2 6Dp

Rights statement

Copyright 2022 the authors. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences