Amer. Nat. 49: 547-561 (1915)
Inheritance of habit in the common bean.
John B. Norton, M.S.
Habit is the external form of a plant taken as a whole. It is usually described by a few general adjectives, such as erect, open, spreading, etc. However, to study the inheritance of plant habit, a detailed analysis of the real characters underlying habit must be made. It is usually found that the outer appearance of a plant, its habit, is the result of a combination of independent characters, units, the recombination of which by crossing often results in plants much altered in appearance from the parent varieties. Characters usually unimportant may be found of primary importance in the formation of plant habit.
An example of such inheritance of habit is found in one of Webber's pepper hybrids (6). A cross was made between Red Chili, a variety with many erect fine branches, and Golden Dawn, with few, horizontal, coarse branches, both being of medium size. In the second generation recombination and segregation of the three character pairs occurred, although not in strict Mendelian proportions. The important feature of the results, however, lies in the apparent creation of a giant and a dwarf type, not by the appearance of new units by mutation, but simply by the transference of the characters fine and coarse branches. Hybrids having erect, many and coarse branches were giants, while those having few, horizontal and coarse branches were dwarfs. Other combinations of these characters gave intermediate forms.