Description of Research Activities
Dr. Pastor-Corrales conducts research on genetic resistance of the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) to hyper-variable pathogens, such as those that cause common bean rust (Uromyces appendiculatus), soybean rust (Phakopsora pachyrhizi), and anthracnose (Colletotrichum lindemuthianum). He also studies the virulence diversity and evolution of the bean rust pathogen, searches for and studies novel disease-resistance genes, and for molecular markers linked to these genes. He make use of research results to develop disease-resistant and high yielding dry and snap bean germplasm lines via conventional breeding methods and molecular markers. These approaches contribute to resolve the production losses in common beans caused by diseases. Dr. Pastor-Corrales in collaboration with other scientists from state universities in the United and USDA, has released several great northern and pinto bean germplasm lines, including the first six great northern bean germplasm lines in the world (BelMiNeb-RMR-8, -9, -10, -11, -12, and -13) with four genes for resistance to bean rust and two genes for resistance to bean common bean mosaic and bean common mosaic necrosis potyviruses. These lines have two rust-resistance genes from the Andean and two from the Middle American gene pools, respectively - and they are resistant to all known races of the bean rust pathogen and all known strains of the two potyviruses in the world.