Juan Carlos Rosas Honored at EAP Zamorano

posted on November 18, 2016 5:57pm

Juan Carlos Rosas, who has worked with the Feed the Future Legume Innovation Lab as a bean breeder on projects in Central America and the Caribbean for nearly 30 years, was honored on 16 November 2016 at EAP Zamorano, with the naming of a building in his honor.

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A farmer holds a harvested PM2-Don Rey plant to highlight the large
yield this improved variety brings.

The building, an auditorium with capacity for more than 200 people, is being use for teaching courses to junior and senior students pursuing a BSc degree in Agricultural Science and Production as well as conferences and seminars.

A plaque in front of the building bears his name and the words, “Juan Carolos Rosas Sotomayor: In recognition of his exemplary and motivating work as a teacher and researcher, for his invaluable dedication to Zamorano University, and for his contributions to the welfare of the people of the Americas.”

As bean breeder, he is widely recognized for his work in participatory plant breeding and varietal development in Honduras and throughout Central America. Juan Carolos Rosas is currently a PI on the Legume Innovation Lab project Development and Implementation of Robust Molecular Markers and Genetic Improvement of Common and Tepary Beans to Increase Grain Legume Production in Central America and Haiti. This project recently released the new drought-resistance bean variety, Paraisito Mejorado 2 (PM2-Don Rey), which offers promise of food and economic security to resource-poor smallholder farmers throughout Central America.

While Dr. Rosas’s is achievements are too numerous to list fully, it is noteworthy that he has developed numerous bean varieties with enhanced levels of resistance to Bean Common Mosaic Virus (BCMV), Bean Common Mosaic Necrosis Virus (BCNMV), and Bean Golden Yellow Mosaic Virus (BGYMV), viruses that can cause up to 90 percent grain yield losses in susceptible varieties. Varieties with resistance to anthracnose, rust, and angular leaf spot are also among his many accomplishments.

In addition to PM2-Don Rey, additional bean cultivars that Dr. Rosas has been involved with developing very recently include Amadeus 77, a disease resistant and very popular small red bean cultivar in Central America; XRAV-40-4 (called Azabache 40 in Central America and Sankara in Haiti), a multiple disease-resistant variety adapted to the humid tropics; and Lenca Precoz, an early maturing black bean line resistant to BGYMV, BCMV, and BCMNV that was released in Honduras and also performs well in drought-prone regions of Haiti. Rosas employs conventional plant breeding techniques and marker-assisted selection to create improved dry bean varieties with his colleagues.

For his research and collaboration efforts related to bean breeding and improving the lives of smallholder farmers, Dr. Rosas received the Bean/Cowpea and Dry Grain Pulses CRSP Award for Meritorious Achievement and the Bean Improvement Cooperative’s Meritorious and Distinguished Achievement Award.