Submitted to: Israel Journal of Plants Sciences
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/31/2007
Publication Date: 8/8/2007
Citation: Blair, M.W., Porch, T.G., Cichy, K.A., Galeano, C.H., Lariguet, P., Pankurst, C., Broughton, W. 2007. Induced mutants in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), and their potential use in nutrition quality breeding and gene discovery. Israel Journal of Plants Sciences 55:191-200. Interpretive Summary: Genetic mutants in plants play a critical role in the understanding of agriculturally important traits and in the development of improved cultivars. Through the study of these mutations, the function of specific genes and the role of these genes in plant growth and development can be elucidated. There are few mutants available in common bean for genetic analysis, thus a mutagenesis population is being developed using the chemical, EMS (ethyl methane sulfonate). The mutant population will represent an important resource for genetic analysis of any gene in the genome through screening for physiological changes or by searching directly for mutations in specific genes using TILLING (Targeting Induced Local Lesions In Genomes). The mutagenesis population can be used for the study of agriculturally important traits such as nutritional quality, abiotic and biotic stress tolerance, and grain quality, and promises to result in an improved understanding of common bean genetics.
Technical Abstract: Grain legumes, especially tropical ones, have a paucity of mutant resources compared to Arabidopsis and the cereals. This is being addressed for common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), a simple diploid species with a small genome (650 Mb), by recent studies on mutagenesis that complement previous EMS (ethyl methane sulfonate) and gamma radiation mutants that were developed for biological nitrogen fixation or plant morphology traits. Mutant stocks in this crop will allow researchers to conduct both forward (systematic phenotypic screening) and reverse genetics (such as TILLING or Targeting Induced Local Lesions In Genomes) experiments aimed at understanding the genes involved in various traits, including abiotic and biotic stress tolerance, grain quality, nutritional value as well as genes involved in symbiosis with Rhizobia. Common beans are the most widely consumed grain legume for human consumption and a major protein and mineral source in East Africa and Latin America, therefore it is also important that these resources be developed as a genetic tool for crop improvement. Mutant stocks will also be important for gene-discovery and creating novel variability. In this review, we discuss applications of mutation breeding for nutritional quality improvement of common bean and present examples of previous mutagenesis work in the species.