Pea yield formation in warming temperatures – phenological mechanisms

  • Peas
  • University of Saskatchewan
  • Variety Development

Lead Investigator(s)

Dr. Rosalind Bueckert

Lead Investigator(s) Institution

University of Saskatchewan - Dept. of Plant Sciences


To identify from field trials why current varieties of pea are so heat sensitive. To identify heat tolerant traits via earlier flowering, a longer duration of flowering, improved pollen viability (greater pollen survival at higher daytime temperature), and a greater proportion of seed retained in each pod.


We found that pea varieties were all heat sensitive, but some performed better than others. About 20% of the varieties evaluated could flower and set pods in 40°C heat. The analysis from a cross of a heat sensitive and a more heat tolerant pea showed that we could further improve the flowering duration and have more pod setting, even in our better Saskatchewan varieties. From pollen work, varieties ranged in pollen viability in heat. Heat did not affect the look of the pollen grain surface but changed proteins and fats in the pollen coat, which may cause pollen to not stick properly to the flower stigma. Heat reduced the amount of pollen that germinated and reduced the number of seeds in a pod. Within a pod, heat caused the ovules (peas) at both ends of the pod to fail, but the fertilized ovules in the middle of the pod survived. Some varieties were better able to keep the peas at the ends of the pods. No one variety or genotype had all the positive traits, but several excelled in some traits.

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SPG Contribution


Project Status


Duration/Timeline of Project (Year to Year)

2011 - 2016


Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Western Grains Research Foundation, Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture - Agriculture Development Fund

Total Project Cost