Estimation of morphological traits and mechanical properties of grasspea seeds (Lathyrus sativus L.) originating from EU countries
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Institute of Plant Genetics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Strzeszyńska 34, 60-479 Poznań, Poland
Institute of Agrophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Doświadczalna 4, 20-290 Lublin, Poland
Int. Agrophys. 2008, 22(3): 261-275
The material for the study comprised 30 accession forms of grasspea (Gene Bank in Gatersleben, Germany) originating from four European countries, and two Polish cultivars – Derek and Krab. Estimation of variability of the morphological traits and yield structure was performed on the basis of a field experiment and the obtained seeds were analysed under laboratory conditions, taking into account the geometric features of the seeds and their physical (mechanical) properties as defined by values of static loads. Apart from differences in the dates of start of blooming, plant height, height of positioning of the lowest pod on the plant, and pod morphology (length and width), the plants under study differed with respect to their yield-forming traits, such as the number of pods per plant, number and weight of seeds in pod, and number and weight of seeds per plant. Seeds under analysis, taken for static load tests, were characterised by fairly uniform moisture content within the range from 7.9 to 9.8%. In terms of weight of 100 seeds, the experimental objects displayed a broad range of variability, representing forms typically small-seeded (from 5 to 15 g), medium-seeded (from 15 to 25 g), and coarse-seeded (over 25 g). The coarse-seeded forms originated mainly from Italy and Spain, while those with smaller seeds came from France, Germany and Poland. The above trait was related to the geometric features of the seeds, expressed in terms of their thickness, width and length. The ranges of variability of those features were, respectively, 4.61-6.13, 7.13-12.98 and 7.88-14.43 mm. The most extensive ranges of variation were recorded for static loading parameters concerning maximum force and elasticity (N), maximum and elastic strain (mm) and energy (mJ), and apparent modulus of elasticity (MPa). On the basis of the results obtained, forms with the highest and the lowest values of static load were identified. The above traits were related not only with the geometric features of the seeds, but likely also with genetically determined changes in the microstructure of the seeds. Analysis of the microstructure in further research would surely permit demonstration of the relevant relationships with respect to the results obtained from analysis of static loading. The results obtained from the field trial and from estimation of the mechanical properties of the seeds indicate a broad range of variability of the parameters under analysis. This permits to isolate the most valuable foreign genotypes and their further utilisation as parent material for hybridisation aimed at improvement of local forms of grasspea.
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