To combine the genetics of extra dwarf peas with those of the very cold hardy Austrian winter peas to breed a new short stature and cold hardy pea suitable for growing in the winter months. Adding other various genetics for nice edible qualities.
Multiple pea crosses will need to be made between extra dwarf peas and 'Lynx', 'Blaze', or 'Windham' Austrian winter peas. Backcrosses back to 'Lynx', 'Blaze', or 'Windham' will need to be made in order to maintain the cold hardy genetics while introducing the extra dwarf growth habit. Semi-leafless (af) trait may also be useful to increase airflow and thus potentially further reduce frost damage when condensation occurs in cold temperatures.
Various other edible qualities would ideally also be included. Perhaps by making crosses first to the extra dwarf peas and stabilizing those crosses. Favorable edible qualities include: wrinkled seeds (r, rb, rug3, bsg), low fiber genes for pods, shoots, & leaves (p,v), snap pods (n), parsley foliage (tl), and high production genetics (ion, det, fn, fna).
Starting with the best pea varieties with the most stacked genetics will help speed this project along and reduce needed crosses and back-crosses.
I have between 12 and 15 years of amateur and independent plant breeding. This year I hope to finally finish my attempt at breeding a red-podded pea (that tastes good). I've worked on many crop species including corn, teosinte, corn-teosinte hybrids, watermelon, watermelon-citron melon hybrids, squash, interspecies squash hybrids, wild tomato species, domestic-wild tomato hybrids, and more. Though I have had success (and failures) in many areas I've attempted, peas are what I'm best at. I've grown an extensive pea collection with a wide range of rare and unique genetic traits.
Are you seeking volunteer growers or other types of volunteers?
Yes, seeking volunteer growers
What will you ask volunteers to do?
Grow out hybrid pea lines. Possibly attempt backcrosses or new crosses using hand techniques. Observe and select in F2 generations. Save seeds and share seeds.
Other requirements of volunteers?
Ideally medium-level volunteers who have experience with plant breeding. But beginners can learn easily. Gardening ability and space to grow peas. Any experience with winter growing and cold-frames a plus (I currently have none!).
Can volunteers expect to be able to keep some germplasm (seeds, bulbs, cuttings, spores, etc) at the close of the project?
Yes, of course