Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/18/2022
Publication Date: 4/26/2022
Citation: Witt, T.W., Flynn, K.C., Villavicencio, C., Northup, B.K. 2022. Flood tolerance and flood loss predictions for tepary bean (Phaseolus acutifolius A. Gray) across the United States Southern Great Plains. Agronomy Journal. 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1002/agj2.21084.
Interpretive Summary: Tepary bean is an underutilized crop grown for many years by the indigenous peoples of the Sonoran Desert of North America. This bean is very drought and heat tolerant and is used to improve common bean varieties, in the U.S. and around the world. Past research in Oklahoma and Kansas has shown that tepary bean provides forage yield and quality greater than or equal to soybean. Climate change/variability can cause extreme shifts in weather patterns, which can lead to high intensity rainfall events causing short term / flash flooding and ultimately billions of dollars of crop loss. The current research examined the tolerance of tepary bean to short term flooding and estimated which parts of the southern Great Plains may experience flooding due to high intensity rainfall. We determined that different tepary genotypes reacted differently to short term flooding and that during any three-day period, 16% of Kansas and 25% of Oklahoma may receive rainfall that causes short term flooding.
Technical Abstract: Tepary (Phaseolus acutifolius A. Gray) is an underutilized crop native to North America, currently grown in small amounts by the indigenous people of the Sonoran Desert of northern Mexico/southwestern U.S. Tepary is currently being used to improve heat, drought, and pest tolerances in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). This study evaluates the effect of different flooding periods on biomass production and tissue carbon and nitrogen content of tepary. Further, the study evaluates areas of Kansas and Oklahoma that may flood during one- and three-day periods. The analysis determined that for any one year, 22% of Kansas cropland would flood during a 24-hour period and 16% would flood during a 72-hour (3 day) period. For Oklahoma, 30 % of cropland would flood during a 24-hour period and 25 % would flood during a 72-hour period. Although tepary withstands the abiotic stresses of high temperature and low precipitation, there was less evidence of flood tolerance. Overall, tepary genotypes survive 24-hour flooding events, while72-hour events are detrimental to all traits evaluated. The highly erratic, high intensity summer rainfalls common to the southern Great Plains may reduce the ability of tepary bean to dependably produce biomass. Future breeding efforts should include developing flood tolerance in tepary bean, to expand the region of use for this legume.