Diversity of pod shape in Pisum

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The seed-containing pod is the defining structure of plants in the legume family, yet pods exhibit a wide range of morphological variation. Within a species pod characters are likely to be correlated with reproductive strategy, and within cultivated forms will correspond to aspects of yield determination and/or end use. Here variation in pod size, described as pod length: pod width ratio, has been analyzed in pea germplasm represented by 597 accessions. This pod size variation is discussed with respect to population structure and to known classical pod morphology mutants. Variability of the pod length: width ratio can be explained by allelic variation at two genetic loci that may correspond to organ-specific negative regulators of growth.