Waterlogging tolerance of grass pea (Lathyrus sativus L.) at germination related to country of origin

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Grass pea (Lathyrus sativus L.) has a Mediterranean origin and was spread to Western Europe, Africa and South Asia. Over time, this grain legume crop has become important in South Asia, where it is often affected by waterlogging at germination. Therefore, varieties with waterlogging tolerance of seeds at germination are needed. This study evaluated waterlogging tolerance in a grass pea diversity panel. First, morpho-agronomic traits of 53 grass pea genotypes from 7 diverse countries (Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Greece and Pakistan) were measured in a glasshouse. Seeds of the collection were then sown into waterlogged soil for 6 days and is subsequently drained for 8 days. Finally, representative genotypes from each country of origin of the three survival patterns (described below) were then tested to identify the effect of seed priming on germination and seedling growth in waterlogged soil. Canonical analysis of six traits (seed weight, pod length, pod width, flowering time, time to maturity and seedling survival) showed that genotypes from Bangladesh and Ethiopia were similar. There was a significant variation amongst genotypes in waterlogging tolerance. Genotypes from Bangladesh and Ethiopia showed the highest percent seedling survival (54% and 47%), with an ability to germinate under waterlogging and then maintain growth from the first day of draining to the final sampling (Pattern 1). In contrast, genotypes from other origins either germinated during waterlogging, but did not survive during drainage (Pattern 2) or failed to germinate and had low seedling survival during waterlogging and drainage (Pattern 3). Priming seeds reduced seedling survival in grass pea. Despite Mediterranean origin, specific ecotypes of grass pea with greater waterlogging tolerance under warm wet conditions have been favoured in Bangladesh and Ethiopia where adaptation to extreme precipitation events at germination and seedling survival upon soil drainage is critical for successful crops.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)837-850
Number of pages14
JournalExperimental Agriculture
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


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