Plant mineral nutrition, seed yield and seed vigour in peas (Pisum sativum L.).

  • Tamara Browning

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


The vining pea cultivar 'Sprite' was grown using different levels of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in greenhouse and field experiments. Seed vigour tests were conducted in the greenhouse and growth cabinets, and seedling field emergence was tested. In the greenhouse experiments, increasing the level of nitrogen supplied to peas resulted in increased seed nitrogen content. High N seed tended to be of high vigour as evidenced by the lack of hollow heart, low conductivity values of seed leachate, larger seed size, larger seedling size and high level of field emergence. In one experiment seed bleaching appeared to be related to plant nitrogen supply, such that seed of high N content showed a higher degree of bleaching than low seed. Differences in plant phosphorus supply and seed P content had less effect on seed vigour than nitrogen. Seed yield and seed vigour in a second generation greenhouse grown crop were not affected by first generation nutrition. Fertilizer application to crops grown on soil of an adequate P and K status for vining peas failed to produce differences in seed nutrient concentration or seed vigour. Comparison of the results of the greenhouse and field experiments reveals that adverse temperatures during seed maturation may have a greater effect on leachate conductivity and seed vigour than differences in seed nitrogen content. Further work on both temperature and nitrogen nutrition is required, with particular reference to the effects these factors have on seed leaching and membrane functioning, since 'physiological' vigour of pea seed appear's to be associated with aspects of cell metabolism that affect membrane structure or function.
Date of Award1980
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath

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