Cryostorage of Pea (Pisum sativum L.)

  • P. Berjak
  • D. J. Mycock
  • P. Watt
  • J. Wesley-Smith
  • B. Hope
Part of the Biotechnology in Agriculture and Forestry book series (AGRICULTURE, volume 32)


The common pea (Pisum sativum L.) is probably one of the best known legumes used as a fresh vegetable (Langer and Hill 1982). It is not known in the wild state, but is very closely related to P. arvense, which occurs in Georgia, Russia (Purseglove 1968; Janick et al. 1981). Pea appears to have been first cultivated about 7000 B.C. in the south-western parts of Asia, the same general region from which wheat originated (Janick et al. 1981). It was spread west to the Greeks, who passed it on to the Romans and thence to the Germanic races of Europe. Prior to European global migration, pea cultivation had also spread east to India and China and south into central Africa (Purseglove 1968; Janick et al. 1981). During the 18th century, Gregor Mendel, in his classic work on the genetics of pea, recognized 32 different types. Today, about 10 000 cultivars have been recorded, most from temperate areas of the world where the crop is grown best (Gantotti and Kartha 1986).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Berjak
    • 1
  • D. J. Mycock
    • 2
  • P. Watt
    • 1
  • J. Wesley-Smith
    • 1
  • B. Hope
    • 1
  1. 1.Plant Cell Biology Research Unit, Department of BiologyUniversity of NatalDurbanSouth Africa
  2. 2.Department of BotanyUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa

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