Improvement of a field pea double haploid protocol


Double haploids are plants developed from either a male or female gamete, n=1 cell, and therefore are completely homozygous at all loci.  Because all traits are visible within one generation, this methodology adds speed and efficiency to breeding programs.  Androgenesis is the development of an embryo containing only paternal chromosomes.  Within plant tissue culture systems, this usually involves protocols which culture either isolated immature pollen grains or the culture of immature pollen grains contained within the anther.  In the recalcitrant species Pisum sativum, field pea, anther culture protocols have had the most success.

The goal of our research is to improve all aspects of the field pea anther culture protocol including: increasing the number  of immature pollen grains initiated to become embryogenic, improving the regeneration of haploid embryos, and regenerating plants from those embryos.  The areas we are focusing on to achieve these goals are: donor plant physiology, mechanisms of triggering androgenesis, and tissue culture conditions and protocols.



To test the effects of light quality on androgenesis, field pea donor plants are grown under various light filters.

Induced field pea anthers incubated in liquid medium.

Callogenic field pea anthers incubated under embryogenic conditions.


Research Area
Breeding & Genetics

Plant breeding is the art and science of changing the traits of plants in order to produce desired characteristics. Plant breeding can be accomplished through many different techniques ranging from simply selecting plants with desirable characteristics for propagation, to more complex molecular techniques. ... [more]


The objectives of the Pulse Research Group Physiology Program is to investigate whole plant and field responses of crops, particularly pulse crops, to nutrient, water and weather.  To understand and improve yield formation in pulse crops in a warming climate.  To investigate and improve nitrogen ... [more]

Tissue Culture

Tissue culture is the growth of tissues or cells separate from the organism. This is typically facilitated via use of a liquid, semi-solid, or solid growth medium, such as broth or agar. Specifically, plant tissue culture is a collection of techniques used to maintain or grow plant cells, tissues or organs ... [more]

Related Species

Pea (Pisum sativum L.) is one of the first domesticated crops, and was the model crop for the foundational genetic studies by Gregor Mendel, which he first reported in 1865. Pea is grown in most temperate regions of the world with annual production over the past decade of 10-12 million tonnes of field pea and 14-17 million tonnes of vegetable pea. Pea belongs to the Leguminosae family and consists of two species, P. fulvum and P. sativum with several ‘wild’ subspecies of P. sativum. Canada is the leading producer and exporter of field pea in the world. Saskatchewan is the leading province in pea production followed by Alberta and Manitoba. ... [more]

Sequences, Variants & Markers