|Characterization, Conservation and Improvement of Common Bean Germplasm|
Above: Highly susceptible reaction of bean leaves two weeks following their inoculation with common bacterial blight. Bellow: susceptible and resistant reactions of bean leaves after two weeks following inoculation with common bacterial blight.
Genetic diversity outside of the US germplasm base likely contains genes for yield and resistance that are not in the current narrow gene pool. This project is a component of National Program 301, Plant, Microbial, and Insect Genetic Resources, Genomics and Genetic Improvement.
Materials and Methods
Survey, acquire, increase common bean germplasm; evaluate for multiple disease and insect resistance; enhance superior germplasm through breeding and molecular genetic techniques; identify and select superior lines, field test, develop and release germplasm lines or cultivars.
Differentially limed plots at Corozal, Puerto Rico are used to screen bean germplasm for acid soil tolerance.
The project has a long history of releasing disease-resistant germplasm and in publishing new research findings. Since 1996, the project has participated in the development and release of approximately 35 new germplasms.These releases have featured resistance to common bacterial blight, white mold, bean common mosaic virus, bean common mosaic necrosis virus, ashy stem blight, rust, and anthracnose. There have been high-protein releases, releases adapted to Caribbean growing conditions, releases from crosses with other species, and releases of improved germplasm of other species. The project has impacted the bean industry by providing novel sources of resistance to important bean diseases and by developing the use of molecular markers for bean improvement. The current project is continuing to impact the US bean industry by introducing new "yield" and "resistance" genes into better and more usable germplasms. US breeders should be able to readily use this material in their programs to improve beans f or their specific geographical areas. Some releases from this project are immediately usable by farmers.