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Dry Bean Improvement for the Northern Plains
April 13, 2004

General Description of the Dry Bean Breeding Program
The objective of the dry bean breeding program at North Dakota State University is to develop high yielding, high quality bean genotypes adapted to the northern Great Plains. Our first priority remains pinto improvement, and more than 40 percent of all crosses made are to improve this market class. The remaining crosses involve the navy, black, dark and light red kidney, small red, great northern and pink market classes. Each year, the breeding program evaluates material from around the world as possible sources of resistance to white mold, rust, root rot, virus, and bacterial blights.

Summary of 2003 Research Activities
1. The program is currently completing hybridizations efforts in the greenhouse for 2004. We anticipate a number of hybridizations similar to the 2003 series, which was about 650 unique combinations. From these populations, we will plant some of the seed from these crosses in the greenhouse and perform some additional crosses (three-way and double-crosses) in order to combine desirable genes. Hybridizations are designed to match strengths and weaknesses of parents, improve maturity and yield potential, uniform seed size and shape, improve resistance to rust, white mold, viruses, and bacterial blights, and to improve canning and culinary quality.

2. In 2003, more than 650 F2 populations were grown at Hatton, ND, and Perham, MN. From these populations, more than 7,000 selections were made. Seed from these lines were evaluated for desirable market traits and the best pinto lines (1,500) were entered into the winter nursery in Puerto Rico. More than 5,000 F2:4 plant rows were grown at Erie and Hatton, ND and Park Rapids. From these rows, single plants selections were made from the best rows in the best families. These F4:5 selections will be evaluated in 2004 preliminary yield trials. Preliminary yield tests (PYT) were grown at Erie and Hatton included the pinto (76 entries) and navy (152 entries) trials. Seed availability of kidney, black, great northern, and small red were limited for trail purposes because they were not entered into a winter nursery. The Black Bean AYT consisted of 52 entries grown at three locations. The Pinto and Navy Advanced Yield Tests were grown at three locations (Erie, Hatton, and Johnstown). The pinto trial consisted of 53 experimental lines and checks, and the navy trial consisted of 42 lines and checks. The Great Northern yield trial had 16 entries and checks, and the Small Red trial had 14 lines and checks. All lines were evaluated for potential performance and adaptation, and the best lines were selected and harvested to obtain estimates of yield.

3. The black bean line ND9902621-2 was approved for release in July. We are proposing the name Eclipse. Eclipse has excellent yield potential across a wide range of environments, combined with good disease resistance, erect growth habit, and excellent drydown. In ND environments, Eclipse consistently outperforms T-39 black bean and is uniform for plant structure and maturity. Seed is similar in all respects to T-39, but Eclipse has better canning quality, based on tests performed by the USDA-ARS bean quality lab in East Lansing, MI.

4. Dry bean variety trials were conducted at Erie, Hatton, and Forest River, ND and kidney bean trials were located at Park Rapids, MN. The Erie and Hatton variety trials include the national Cooperative Dry Bean Nursery, consisting of 37 pinto, navy, pink, great northern, kidney, black, and small red cultivars and experimental lines. The data from these trials are published in the Dry Bean Performance guide, by the NDSU Ext. Service.

5. The pinto cultivar Maverick, released in 1996, continues to be the dominant pinto bean grown in the region and the U.S. The NDSU Extension Service estimated that Maverick accounted for more than 50% of the pinto acreage in ND in 2003.

6. The Uniform Dry Bean Rust Nursery (Fargo) and the National White Mold Nursery (Hatton) were grown to identify germplasm resistant to rust and white mold. Also, the Midwest Regional Performance Nursery, coordinated by North Dakota State University and consisting of 22 entries, was grown at Erie, ND. The objective of this nursery is to gain information on yield stability and adaptation of dry bean genotypes developed in the Midwest.

7. Continued effort is being directed toward developing pinto bean genotypes with acceptable seed characteristics coupled with architecture appropriate for the region. Selected lines are now being evaluated in advanced yield trials this year. Several of these lines are resistant to the bean rust races prevalent in North Dakota (field evaluation) and some carry the I, bc22, and/or the bc3 genes for resistance to BCMV. Combinations of these genes impart virtual immunity to all strains of this virus.

8. More than 500 pinto lines were evaluated in the greenhouse for resistance to anthracnose. Those found to be resistant were entered into an off-season nursery in New Zealand for rapid seed increase  these lines will then be tested in North Dakota for adaptation and agronomic performance, followed by verification of anthracnose reaction after harvest.

9. A root rot nursery was grown near Park Rapids, MN. Included in this nursery were genotypes from around the world that may possess some resistance to root rot. More than 200 lines were evaluated. Kidney bean populations and plant rows were evaluated to allow for single plant selection for root rot resistance. Selections made in previous years were based on lack of disease relative to the susceptible check, Montcalm, seed traits, and overall vigor of the plant, but because of severe bacterial blight, these lines were, quite frankly, disappointing. Because of this nursery, we began incorporation of root rot resistance from VAX 3 and VAX 5 into kidney bean, which gives us the opportunity to introgress bacterial blight resistance as well as root rot resistance into kidney bean. We currently are growing F3 populations in the greenhouse for genetic studies, and are focusing our efforts on transferring the multiple disease resistance traits from VAX 3 into kidney bean. Since these represent two different gene pools, transferring resistance into kidney from this desirable source may prove medium-to-long-term research, but some selected lines with high levels of resistance and kidney seed traits have been made. Selection within these populations will continue for appropriate seed type and for resistance to common bacterial blight and root rot.

10. Breeding efforts to improve market classes other than pinto and navy are continuing. These efforts are to provide the bean growers in this region with adapted cultivars of pink, dark red kidney, light red kidney, black, great northern, and small red, thereby allowing for greater diversification of market classes as market conditions dictate. This effort, however, remains small (<10%) when compared to effort devoted to the pinto and navy bean market classes.

11. Close cooperation exists between NDSU and USDA-ARS, Beltsville, MD to develop rust resistant dry bean germplasm. Lines developed from this cooperative effort are highly resistant to the rust races found in the United States. More than 200 lines were evaluated for adaptation and agronomic traits in the field.

12. The breeding program collaborated with Dr. Richard Zollinger, Plant Sciences Dept., NDSU, in helping establish and/or maintain field plots and collaborated with Dr. Peter Graham, Soil Science Department, University of Minnesota, to develop populations with high nitrogen fixing ability. We also are working with Dr. Phil Miklas, USDA-ARS and Dr. Jim Steadman, University of Nebraska, on white mold resistance, Dr. George Hosfield, USDA-ARS on culinary quality genetics, and with Dr. Jim Kelly, Michigan State University, on anthracnose resistance.

13. The breeding program assisted Dr. Jack Rasmussen, Plant Pathology Department, NDSU, in developing populations to understand the genetic control of rust resistance in Compuesto Negro Chimaltenango (CNC). This exotic black bean from Guatemala has excellent rust resistance that is unique from other resistance sources. While not effective against all races, the rust resistance from CNC, when combined with other major genes already present in NDSU bean breeding material, provides essential immunity to almost all races present in the U.S. Other sources of resistance also are being evaluated and molecular markers to assist in selection of resistant lines are being developed.


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