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New pinto germplasm line resists anthracnose.
January 11, 2005

A new pinto germplasm line resistant to anthracnose is now available for use in developing new varieties.

Germplasm line USPT-ANT-1 harbors a single gene, Co-42, which confers resistance to the most-destructive races of Colletotrichum linde-muthianum, the fungus that causes anthracnose, says Phil Miklas, a plant geneticist at the Agricultural Research Service Vegetable and Forage Crops Production Research Unit, Prosser, Wash.

In dry beans, anthracnose causes cankers on stems, pods and seeds that can reduce yields and quality.

Endemic to Michigan, New York and other Great Lakes states, anthracnose most  recently emerged as a threat to 350,000 acres of susceptible pintos grown in Minnesota and North Dakota. Those two states, plus Michigan, produce about half the nations $629 million dry edible bean crop.

Commercial pinto beans derived from the new germplasm line would be the first to resist anthracnose.

Chemical fungicides, clean-seed programs and sanitation are the standard control measures. But crop resistance is the keystone defense. To develop USPT-ANT-1, Miklas used marker-assisted selection, a gene-detecting technique that saves the time involved in infecting plants and then waiting to visually check them for resistance traits. USPT-ANT-1 is the product of crosses and brackcrosses made among established pinto bean cultivars, including Othello, Maverick and Buster, with SEL 1308 providing the Co-42 gene.

In field trials, USPT-ANT-1 produced seed yields that were 107 and 90 percent of Othello at test sites in Prosser and Idaho, respectively. USPT-ANT-1 also compared favorably to Buster, another commercial check variety. In those tests, the germplasm line reached its peak growth, or maturity, nine to 14 days later than Othello and four days later than Buster.

Jim Kelly, Michigan State University; Shree Singh, the University of Idaho; and Ken Grafton, North Dakota State University, collaborated with Miklas on the pintos development, testing and evaluation. 

The NDSU breeding program -- supported by checkoff funds -- collaborated in development.


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