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Improving the quality of peas for human consumption (PhD)

Location:
Nottingham
Company:
University of Nottingham

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Supervisor: Prof Debbie Sparkes

Secondary Supervisor: Dr Sean Mayes

Subject Area:Crop physiology/agronomy

Research Title : Improving the quality of peas for human consumption (PhD)

Research Description

The appearance of peas (Pisum sativum L.) for human consumption is a key quality parameter. An important element of this is the colour of the harvested pea, which should be green, and is controlled by the amount of chlorophyll in the seed coat. The green colour fades (known as bleaching) as chlorophyll degrades during the maturation process, and this varies depending on genetic and environmental factors.

This PhD project will increase understanding of the genetic and environmental variation of bleaching in peas with the aim of providing guidance to the industry in how to maximise quality of peas for human consumption. It will begin by evaluating a range of varieties in terms of colour degradation at maturity and how this links to environmental factors. Varieties will be evaluated in terms of loss of colour during/after ripening and how this relates to environmental factors such as temperature, solar radiation and rainfall and any influence on cooking qualities. Possible outcomes for the industry include ranking varieties in terms of their resistance to bleaching, guidance on which environmental conditions should trigger prioritisation of harvest for specific varieties and recommendations for how peas are stored post-harvest.

Award Start Date: 01/10/2020

Terms and Conditions

The successful student will be based at the University of Nottingham’s Sutton Bonington Campus.
This four year PhD studentship, starting in October 2020, is funded by LS Plant Breeding and the Processors and Growers Research Organisation. The studentship covers the UK/EU tuition fee (currently £4,414 pa) and a tax-free stipend based on BBSRC rates (currently £15,285 pa)

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