S01.A4-UPR

S01.A4–UPR, 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

University of Puerto Rico as Lead University

U.S. PIs and Institutions and Collaborating Host Countries

Lead U.S. PI

  • James Beaver,  University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, USA

Collaborating Scientists: U.S.

  • Consuelo Estevez de Jensen, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, USA
  • Timothy Porch, USDA/ARS/TARS, Mayaguez, PR, USA

Collaborating Scientists: International

  • Phil Miklas, USDA/ARS, Prosser, Washington, USA
  • Juan Osorno and Phil McClean, North Dakota State University (NDSU), Fargo, North Dakota, USA
  • Juan Carlos Rosas, Escuela Agrícola Panamericana (Zamorano), Honduras
  • Julio Cesar Villatoro, Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología Agrícola (ICTA), Guatemala
  • Emmanuel Prophete, National Seed Service, Ministry of Agriculture, Haiti

Publications

Annual Technical Project Reports

Workplans

Project Problem Statement and Justification (Brief)

During the past 30 years, most of the growth in bean production in Central America and the Caribbean has occurred in the lowlands (< 1000 m), especially in the more humid regions. This project addresses several biotic and abiotic constraints often encountered in the tropical lowlands. The presence of BGYMV (Bean common mosaic necrosis virus) and BCMNV (Bean common mosaic necrosis virus) in the Caribbean, Central America, and southeastern Mexico make the selection for resistance to these viruses priority breeding objectives. Legume Innovation Lab plant breeders have developed and released black bean lines that combine resistance to BCMNV and BGYMV. Small red bean breeding lines with the same combination of traits for disease resistance are currently being developed at Zamorano. Greater levels of common bacterial blight (CBB) and web blight (WB) resistance are needed for beans produced in warm and humid lowland regions, such as the Petén in Guatemala. Resistance to these diseases also permits increased production of beans in Central America during the first growing season, when rainfall is more abundant and reliable. This project’s plant breeders have developed Middle American and Andean bean breeding lines with different combinations of resistance to diseases (CBB, rust, angular leaf spot ALS, WB, and root rot), pests (bruchids, leafhoppers), and tolerance to edaphic constraints (low N soils, high temperature). This project will use these elite breeding lines as the base for the continued improvement of beans for our target countries.

There are regions and/or growing seasons in Central America and Haiti that are too hot and/or dry to produce common beans. The tepary bean (P. acutifolius) is a potential alternative grain legume for these stressful environments. Farmers on the Pacific coast of Central America and some countries of Africa already produce tepary beans on a limited scale. In addition to heat and drought tolerance, there are tepary beans with high levels of resistance to common bacterial blight, bruchids and other important traits. Resistance to BCMV and BGYMV as well as larger seed size and improved agronomic traits would increase the potential adoption of tepary beans. Interspecific crosses with common beans will be used to introgress these traits into tepary beans. This effort represents the first systematic attempt to genetically improve tepary beans.

Bean breeders were early adopters of marker-assisted selection (MAS) to identify lines with desired combinations of traits. This resulted in increased efficiency in the development of improved bean breeding lines. There are, however, molecular markers available for a limited number of traits. Others are only effective in a specific gene pool. Therefore, there is a need to develop new or more robust markers, particularly for traits of economic importance to bean breeding programs in the tropics. Recent advances by the BeanCAP project, led by North Dakota State University, in sequencing the bean genome and the development of an SNP array, will facilitate the mapping and development of molecular markers for traits of economic importance, while breeder friendly indel markers are a broadly applicable technology. The availability of phenotypic data in appropriate populations is a major factor limiting the development of these markers. This Legume Innovation Lab project will assist this effort through the development of the populations and information needed to identify the more robust markers. Dr. Phil McClean at NDSU will lead the collaborative effort to develop improved molecular markers.

There is an urgent need to strengthen the capacity of bean programs in Central America and the Caribbean to conduct research and to independently develop, release, and disseminate improved cultivars. This project will provide MS and PhD degree training in plant breeding and genetics and conduct informal workshops dealing with research techniques to enable national bean programs to contribute to the genetic improvement of beans for Central America and the Caribbean.

Objectives

  1. Genetic improvement of common and tepary beans for Central America and Haiti
  2. Develop and implement robust molecular markers for disease resistance genes
  3. Strengthen the capacity of bean programs in Central America and the Caribbean to conduct research and to develop, release, and disseminate improved bean cultivars.

Target Outputs

  1. Release and dissemination in the lowlands of Central America and the Caribbean of black and small red bean cultivars with BGYMV and BCMV (Bean common mosaic virus) resistance and greater tolerance to low soil fertility.
  2. Release and dissemination in the lowlands of Central America and the Caribbean black, white, and Andean bean breeding lines with resistance to bruchids, BGYMV, BCMV, and BCMNV.
  3. Release and dissemination of lowland black and white bean breeding lines with resistance to BGYMV, BCMV, BCMNV, and rust.
  4. Release of yellow and red mottled bean lines with resistance to BGYMV, BCMNV, and BCMV.
  5. New bioinformatic-based approach to facilitate marker development.
  6. Release of tepary bean lines with virus resistance and improved agronomic traits.
  7. Indel markers for traits of economic importance that will facilitate the selection of bean lines with the desired combination of traits.
  8. Technical personnel in Central America and the Caribbean with greater capacity to produce reliable and repeatable results from field trials and to develop and release improved cultivars.
  9. Graduate degree training in plant breeding of students from Central America and the Caribbean