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Development and interaction between plant architecture and yield-related traits in winged bean (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus (L.) DC.)

Tanzi, Alberto Stefano, Ho, Wai Kuan, Massawe, Festo, Mayes, Sean
Euphytica 2019 v.215 no.2 pp. 36
Psophocarpus tetragonolobus, branches, breeding programs, crop yield, early development, food security, genes, ideotypes, internode length, plant architecture, plant breeding, pods, progeny, seed productivity, transgressive segregation, Malaysia
Winged bean (P. tetragonolobus (L.) DC.) is a leguminous crop that could contribute towards food security in tropical areas, but whose growth and development is still poorly understood. In order to develop improved individuals for increased green pod and seed productivity, we investigated the factors involved in winged bean plant architecture, development, and their link to a number of yield-related traits. An F₂ population was generated from the cross between M3 and FP15 Malaysian accessions and assessed under field conditions in Malaysia. The results showed stem length to be mainly influenced by internode length (rₛ = .80; p < .01), while multiple genes could be controlling the number of branches, with an average number of branches in the offspring above the highest parent value. The average length of branches appeared to influence the most the final number of pods per plant (rₛ = .44; p < .001), while flowering showed potentially transgressive segregation towards earliness, without preventing the potential development of high pod-yielding individuals (rₛ = − 208; p = .056). Taken together, the results reported here shed light on the interaction between morphological, developmental, and yield-related traits, defining potential targets for developing crop ideotypes to direct breeding programmes for this underutilised crop.