19 May 2011

Colour in Mendel's Peas

From Our Changing World, 9:34 pm on 19 May 2011

One hundred and fifty years ago, Austrian monk Gregor Mendel planted peas segregating for various characteristics, including flower colour.

But it wasn't until last year that a team of scientists, including Roger Hellens from Plant and Food Research, publishing in the journal PLoS-ONE, identified the genes that control for flower colour in pea plants. The paper describes two pea genes that regulate the production of anthocyanins, pigment molecules which accumulate to create colour in pea flowers. The work was a collaboration between scientists and Pland and Food Research, the John Innes Centre in the UK, URGV in France and the USDA's Agricultural Research Services. Ruth Beran speaks with Roger Hellens in a glasshouse in Palmerston North.