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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pullman, Washington » Grain Legume Genetics Physiology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #361673

Research Project: Enhanced Agronomic Performance and Disease Resistance in Edible Legumes

Location: Grain Legume Genetics Physiology Research

Title: Contributions in Puerto Rico to Phaseolus spp. research

item BEAVER, JAMES - University Of Puerto Rico
item ESTEVEZ, CONSUELO - University Of Puerto Rico
item Miklas, Phillip - Phil
item Porch, Timothy - Tim

Submitted to: Journal of Agriculture of the University of Puerto Rico
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/21/2019
Publication Date: 7/25/2020
Citation: Beaver, J., Estevez, C., Miklas, P.N., Porch, T.G. 2020. Contributions in Puerto Rico to Phaseolus spp. research. Journal of Agriculture of the University of Puerto Rico. 104(1):43-111.

Interpretive Summary: Common beans (dry, snap, and greenshelled) and other Phaseolus species (tepary bean, Lima bean, and scarlet runner beans) are important food crops in the U.S. and worldwide. This paper summarizes the research and germplasm contributions from the collaborative efforts between the University of Puerto Rico and USDA-ARS-TARS (Tropical Agriculture Research Station - Mayaguez) toward improving bean production in the tropics. Most of this summary is dedicated to cumulative research progress and germplasm development achievements made in the last 40 years. The long-term commitment of the USDA-ARS to support a bean research geneticist at the Tropical Agriculture Research Station provided continuity of effort in the improvement of Phaseolus spp. germplasm for the tropics and the United States. Major advances were made in the study of pathogen variability, genetic resistance, and host pathogen interactions for Bean golden mosaic virus, Bean common mosaic virus, rust, web blight, common bacterial blight, and root rot diseases. Significant advances were made in understanding leaf hopper, seed weevils, and nematode pests. Traits for abiotic stress tolerance to drought, heat, and low soil fertility were identified and characterized. Germplasm and cultivars were released with resistances to these diseases, pests, and stresses. Unique materials with novel traits were developed and overtime new cultivars and germplasm lines with combinations of useful traits were released. The information and materials generated have significantly contributed toward sustained improvements in bean production in the tropics, U.S., and worldwide.

Technical Abstract: Most reviews focus on a specific topic. The purpose of this paper, however, is to review the contributions made by a multidisciplinary team of researchers at a specific location (Puerto Rico) over a period of several decades. This paper documents the bean research contributions of the University of Puerto Rico and the USDA-ARS Tropical Agriculture Research (Mayaguez) during the past century. The following description illustrates the merits of continuity of effort in research and shows that research often follows a logical sequence of actions to solve problems related to genetic improvement and the study of biotic and abiotic factors that affect common bean production in Central America and the Caribbean. Finally, the following narrative demonstrates that the continued development of improved bean germplasm lines and cultivars is cyclical and builds upon previous research achievements.