Featured Articles – Feed The Future Bean Research

Diego Crespo an undergraduate assistant studying cooking time in dry beans in Karen Cichy's lab wins the grand prize for his research presentation at the Michigan State University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum in April 2016.

Diego Crespo an undergraduate assistant studying cooking time in dry beans in Karen Cichy’s lab wins the grand prize for his research presentation at the Michigan State University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum in April 2016.

 

"Fast-cooking dry beans provide more protein, iron than ‘slower’ varieties" news story highlights the research study "Demonstrating a Nutritional Advantage to the Fast-Cooking Dry Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.)" by Jason Wiesinger, Karen Cichy et al. published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in November 2016.

“Fast-cooking dry beans provide more protein, iron than ‘slower’ varieties” news story highlights the research study “Demonstrating a Nutritional Advantage to the Fast-Cooking Dry Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.)” by Jason Wiesinger, Karen Cichy et al. published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in November 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

Shipment of 12 tons of virus resistant black bean ‘Sankara’ to Haiti

In collaboration with the University of Puerto Rico, Basin Seeds Inc. (Idaho), and USAID, the USDA-ARS Feed-the-Future Grain Legumes Project shipped over 12 tons of ‘Sankara’ black bean seed to Haiti that arrived on Nov. 16, 2016. This seed, urgently needed due to hardships caused by Hurricane Matthew, was produced with the goal of testing a model for providing a secure, annual supply of high quality, disease-free, Western U.S. grown common bean seed to countries such as Haiti that have a perennial shortage of seed and are vulnerable to extreme weather events including droughts, tropical storms and hurricanes.

Seed increase of Sankara in February 2014 at the Hands Together NGO in Gonaives, Haiti. In the photo are Jim Beaver and Consuelo Estevez of the U. of Puerto Rico, Emmanuel Prophete from the National Seed Service of Haiti, and several technicians from the NGO.

Seed increase of Sankara in February 2014 at the Hands Together NGO in Gonaives, Haiti. In the photo are Jim Beaver and Consuelo Estevez of the U. of Puerto Rico, Emmanuel Prophete from the National Seed Service of Haiti, and several technicians from the NGO.

‘Sankara’, tested as XRAV-40-4 and released in Haiti in 2015 has good yield potential and resistance to BGYMV (Bean Golden yellow Mosaic Virus), BCMNV (Bean Common Mosaic Necrosis Virus) and BCMV (Bean Common Mosaic Virus), key viral diseases in Haiti. ‘Sankara’ has exhibited early maturity and superior yield in the highlands of Haiti during the summer. Dr. James Beaver sent 30 lbs. of Breeder Seed to Dr. Phil Miklas and 1,000 lbs. of Foundation Seed was obtained in a field planting in Othello, Washington during the summer of 2015. The line was well adapted, early maturing, and produced high-quality seed in Washington at a multiplication rate of 30. This Foundation Seed was inspected and certified by Washington State Department of Agriculture and later accepted by Idaho State Department of Agriculture for increase in Idaho by the Basin Seed Company.

Dr. Ron Riley and Mike McKenna, co-owners of Basin Seed Company in Nampa, Idaho, planted the Foundation Seed of ‘Sankara’ and produced 27,000 lbs of Certified Seed in September, 2016. The seed is disease-free, high quality and genetically pure with 92% germination and 99.98% purity. Through expedited cleaning, processing, and packaging in 50 lb bags with a Haitian Creole label, Basin Seeds was able to ship 500, 50 lb bags to Haiti on 7 October, arriving in Haiti on 16 November and in time for the November/December 2016 Winter planting season. This is sufficient seed for almost 500 acres during the irrigated winter season in Haiti. A modest yield of 1,200 lbs/acre would produce a sufficient amount of seed of ‘Sankara’ to be planted on small-scale farms in the mountains during the summer of 2017 on over 9,000 acres.

Advancing Dry Bean Germplasm and Cultivar Development for Resource Poor Farmers in Malawi

The rainfall distribution for the 2015-16 Malawi crop growing season was in general below normal in many parts of the country. Drought conditions prevailed in many areas and crop yields were adversely affected including maize, the staple food for the country. The figure below shows rainfall distribution at the Salima site.

Rainfall (mm) for Salima during 2015-16 bean growing season (Source: Salima Met. Station)

Rainfall (mm) for Salima during 2015-16 bean growing season (Source: Salima Met. Station)

 

A subset of 10 Andean Diversity Panel (ADP) and 13 Durango Diversity Panel (DDP) lines that had been selected for good performance under biotic and abiotic stresses across Malawi, Tanzania, South Africa, Puerto Rico and the United States were planted at Bunda, Bvumbwe, MUST, and Chitala. The materials were grown in 4 row plots with three replications at each location. Phenological, yield and yield component data were determined.

The PIC population selections were planted at the same four sites (Bunda, Bvumbwe, MUST and Chitala). There were 282 lines planted as single row plots that were replicated three times. Plants were selected based on agronomic performance and tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses in the field at the pod-filling stage, followed by seed type at harvest.

The National Bean Yield Trials (NBYT) comprised materials from the Bean/Cowpea CRSP project conducted from 2004 to 2007. The seed types range from small- to large-seeded and from solid to mottled seed colors. The lines are a mix of Andean and Mesoamerican lines and a variety of seed types including black, small red, carioca, brown, sugar cranberry, large red and red mottled.

Performance of bean trials

Drought had a profound effect on the trial performance resulting in loss of some trials at Bunda and MUST. The trials at Chitala were also drastically affected by drought and root rot. Bean common mosaic virus was prominent at Bunda and black-root reaction was observed in ABYT and ADP/DDP trials which contributed to poor stand apart from the drought that was experienced. PIC lines and the NBYT performed better in the second planting. Charcoal rot, caused by Macrophomina phaseolina, was the major disease at Bvumbwe in addition to drought stress, and the worst affected was the ADP/DDP trial (photo below).

Bvumbwe- Severe charcoal rot disease and drought stress resulting in poor plant stand

Bvumbwe- Severe charcoal rot disease and drought stress resulting in poor plant stand

 

PIC selections were made mainly at Bunda and Bvumbwe but a few were also included from Chitala. Selections at Bunda and Bvumbwe were based on pod load and seed type. In Chitala, all plants that survived the drought and produced seed were picked. Out of 282 lines derived from single plant selections done in 2014/2015 cropping season, 82 lines (29%) were selected and sent to South Africa for seed multiplication and advance.

The results of NBYT at Bunda showed highly significant differences in yield. Lines PC543-C3 and DG 2 were the earliest to achieve full flowering while the lines F11 MDRB (B) 25 and F11 MDRB (B) 24 were the first to reach physiological maturity. The highest yield was observed for the Kalima variety (2,858 kg/ha) followed by UCD 0234 (2,444 kg/ha). The overall mean yield was 1,771 kg/ha.

Promising line for release, F11NDRB(B)24

Promising line for release, F11NDRB(B)24

 

The NBYT results from the Bvumbwe Research Station showed highly significant statistical differences between the entries for days to flowering, days to maturity and 100 seed weight. There was no statistical significance in terms of grain yield among entries indicating similar yield performance. The earliest line to achieve physiological maturity was F12MDRB (A) 18 after 79 days. The top yielding line was F11MDRB (B) 24 (photo below) with 1,509 kg/ha followed by F3 MDRB (A) 8 with 1,378 kg/ha and UCD0234 with 1,365 kg/ha. The overall mean yield was 956 kg/ha.

The 2015/2016 crop growing season was challenging for crop growth and production. This was mainly due to drought. Trials from two of the sites, MUST and Chitala Research Station, were drastically affected and no data was collected. Two of the trials at Bunda, ADP/DDP and ABYT, recorded poor stands and this affected yield performance. Two trials, NBYT and PIC, had to be replanted at Bunda. Therefore, it is recommended that the ADP/DDP and NBYT be repeated in the 2016/2017 growing season. The PIC line selections sent to South Africa should be evaluated at multiple sites in order to determine their adaptation and to select outstanding entries for preliminary yield trials. Three lines from the NBYT, F11 MDRB (B) 24, DC 96-69 and DG 226, are being considered for release.

 

Abiotic Stress Workshop held in Puerto Rico, August 15-17, 2016.

In this post you will find the complete program and relevant presentations in spanish, from the Abiotic Stress Workshop hosted by the U. of Puerto Rico and the Escuela Panamericana Agricola (Zamorano) at the UPR Substations in Isabela and Fortuna. The Workshop was funded by the USAID FtF Innovation Lab for Climate-Resilient Beans.

Workshop Participants

Abiotic Stress Workshop Participants

Full program on PDF format (descargar)

Monday, August 15, 2016

  • T. Porch. Mejoramiento de la tolerancia al estrés de sequía. (descargar)
  • J. Beaver. Mejoramiento de la tolerancia a la baja fertilidad. (descargar)
  • J.C. Rosas. Avances en la identificación de germoplasma de frijol tolerante  a altas temperaturas en Honduras. (descargar)
  • J. Burridge. Estrategias de arquitectura de raices a estres abiotico. (descargar)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

  • N. Duarte. Sequia y baja fertilidad en Nicaragua.(descargar)
  • J.C. Hernandez. Problemas abioticos en la produccion de frijol en Costa Rica.(descargar)
  • E. Prophete. Problemas Abioticos en Frijol en Haiti. (descargar)
  • J.C. Villatoro. Cambio Climatico y perspectiva Guatemala. (descargar)
  • T. Porch. Estres de las altas temperaturas. (descargar)
  • E. Harmsen. Estres hidrico no enfacis en sequia. (descargar)
  • D. Sotomayor. Baja fertilidad y otros estreses del suelo. (descargar)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016.

  • C. Jochua. Estrategia regional para adaptacion  a estreses abioticos. (descargar)

Advances in selection of improved lines from the Phaseolus Improvement Cooperative (PIC) populations in Tanzania

ARS scientists Phil Miklas, Karen Cichy, and Tim Porch participated in this trip focused on the evaluation of breeding lines in collaboration with Sokoine University researchers Dr. Susan Nchimbi. Significant progress was made in advancing breeding populations directed towards release of improved varieties in Tanzania. Thirty promising F4:7, 1st generation 2014 PIC (Phaseolus Improvement Cooperative) and ~100 F4:6, 2nd generation 2015 PIC breeding lines were selected. In addition, ~300 F4:5, 3rd generation 2016 PIC single plant selections were completed in Arusha and Mbeya (photos from Arusha below). These breeding lines, derived from 109 PIC populations specifically developed to combine abiotic and biotic stress tolerance, showed superior agronomic potential compared with checks and local landraces. The diversity, scale, and potential of the material in the PIC breeding pipeline is invaluable and requires continued support to ensure the release of varieties that promise to increase the productivity of common bean in the E. African region.

 Single plant selections (left) and selection of plant rows (right) from the PIC populations in Arusha, Tanzania.

Single plant selections (left) and selection of plant rows (right) from the PIC populations in Arusha, Tanzania.

Twelve superior lines from ADP evaluations during previous years were evaluated in on-station trials in Arusha, Mbeya, and Morogoro, and in on-farm trials in the Arusha and Mbeya areas (photos below). The first village near Arusha was Kikatiti (District of Arumeru) where bush beans were preferred (left photo below). The second village was Sakila (in Arumeru as well). This village was at a higher elevation with higher rainfall and fertile soils. A high incidence of white mold was found at this site. About 17 male and 2 female farmers participated in an evaluation of the material in the 12 entry ADP field trial with the local extension agent, indicating their most preferred and least preferred lines (middle photo below).

The first village near Mbeya was Ivuanga, in the District of Mbezi. The 4 male and 3 female farmers had selected individual plants to present the characteristics that they preferred. Several of the ADP were mentioned in this discussion as having good potential including ADP 395, ADP 468, and ADP 111 (right photo below). The two local checks in this area are Wanja and Kigoma. In the field, ADP 479, a red mottled, Calima type also looked promising. A second location in the village was also visited. This site had noticably lower soil fertility and reduced vigor. At this site, ADPs 395, 462, 468, and 479 again looked promising.  A second village was then visited in the vicinity, Nambala. An enthusiastic group of farmers composed of 13 men, 6 women, and 5 children showed us their plots, that had been irrigated by hand, that were at mid pod fill stage. It was too early to evaluate the material for yield performance, but they did indicate that palatability of the leaves was an important characteristic.

Family showing seed types in Kikatiti (left photo) and farmers evaluating APD lines in Sakila (middle photo) both near Arusha in the District of Arumeru. In the village of Ivuanga near Mbeya in the District of Mbezi, farmers evaluate ADP lines at maturity (right photo).

Family showing seed types in Kikatiti (left photo) and farmers evaluating APD lines in Sakila (middle photo) both near Arusha in the District of Arumeru. In the village of Ivuanga near Mbeya in the District of Mbezi, farmers evaluate ADP lines at maturity (right photo).

Selection of PIC breeding lines in Malawi and evaluation of high temperature trials in Vaalharts, South Africa

Dr. James Bokosi

Dr. James Bokosi with promising breeding line at the Bwumbe Station near Blantyre, Malawi.

At Bunda College, with Dr. James Bokosi, promising breeding lines were selected from 35 PIC (Phaseolus Improvement Cooperative) populations at a field site located at 14⁰11.249 S, 33⁰46.478 E and at an elevation of 1195 masl. Single plant selections from the F4 generation had been completed one year ago in Malawi, resulting in over 400 selections; followed by a generation advance in South Africa with Deidre Fourie (ARC). Dr. Bokosi then selected a subset of approximately 280 lines based on seed type and these were planted at the Bunda and Bwumbe Stations. At Bunda, a high frequency of mosaic and black root symptoms were identified, signaling the presence of bean common mosaic virus. Lines were selected based on yield, plant stand, and disease resistance. Approximately 10-20% of the lines were selected that will then be included in regional trials during the next season.

At Bwumbe Station near Blantyre, the same set of PIC lines were planted in three replications at the Bwumbe Station located at 15⁰55.555 S, 35⁰04.389 E and at 1138 masl. At Bwumbe, charcoal rot (caused by Macrophomina phaseolina) was the major constraint, resulting in reduced plant stands and reduced yield. In addition, wilt likely caused by Fusarium oxysporum, and Angular leaf spot were also found. We noted that distinct selections were completed in Bwumbe in comparison with Bunda, indicating the effectiveness of this approach of selection from a diverse set of populations in each target production environment. Separate trials of selections from the Durango diversity panel (DDP), and an advanced line trial and a national trial both from Malawi, were evaluated. In the process one line was identified from the national trial with impressive yield, architecture, disease resistance, and seed quality traits.

Selection of PIC lines at Bunda College

Selection of PIC lines at Bunda College

In Vaalharts, South Africa we evaluated high temperature trials with Deidre Fourie at the Jankempdorp ARC Station. The bean trial at the Vaalharts field site is located at 27⁰56.759 S, 24⁰50.548 E and at 1162 masl and covered over 2 hectares with 3 replications of the DDP and ADP and 72 PIC populations. The average temperatures indicate high temperature stress during the daytime, but an ideal night-time temperature regime, that resulted in typical high temperature stress effects, including reproductive organ abscission and pin bean formation. Visual ratings based on pod load (1-9) were completed on the ADP and DDP trials and selections were completed in 72 PIC populations.

Identifying typical effects of high temperature stress, including poor seed set and pin pods at ARC Station in Vaalharts, South Africa.

Identifying typical effects of high temperature stress, including poor seed set and pin pods at ARC Station in Vaalharts, South Africa.

Anthracnose Screening of ADP

Approximately 230 ADP lines of the ADP were screened with 8 races of anthracnose under controlled conditions at Michigan State University. Dr. James Kelly has provided this valuable dataset for sharing in light of the Open Data policy of the US government. This dataset represents the first comprehensive screening of the ADP with a broad set of races of a specific pathogen.

To download this file, click here.

Uganda participatory variety selection

Dennis Katuuramu (PhD student, Michigan State University) with a farmer group in Kamuli, Uganda evaluating a dry bean participatory trial.

Dennis Katuuramu (PhD student, Michigan State University) with a farmer group in Kamuli, Uganda evaluating a dry bean participatory trial.

A subset of the Andean Diversity Panel (ADP) comprised of 23 genotypes was screened on-farm across three districts in Uganda in 2015. The genotypes represent various market classes and were selected for faster cooking times and superior nutritional quality profiles. A participatory variety selection approach was used where the farmers belonging to nine farmer groups participated in the collection of both qualitative data (preference scores) and quantitative data (disease reactions, plant architecture, and seed yield). Farmers also rated seed quality preferences after harvest. In general, farmers preferred high yielding early maturing lines that exhibited tolerance to too little and/or too much water. A small seeded red mottled variety (Chijar) from Puerto Rico was consistently the most productive across all the agro-ecological zones used in the study.

Advancing dry bean germplasm and cultivar development for resource poor farmers in Malawi

Dr. James Bokosi performing single plant selections from PIC populations in Malawi

Dr. James Bokosi performing single plant selections from PIC populations in Malawi

Beans are an important crop in Malawi both nutritionally and for income generation, however, production does not meet the demand and with actual yields (400 kg ha-1) well below potential yield (2,000 kg ha-1). The major yield constraints range from poor agronomic practices, soil infertility, lack of improved cultivars, and drought. To this end, a program for common bean improvement was initiated for Malawi under the Feed-the-Future Grain Legumes program with Bunda College titled “Advancing dry bean germplasm and cultivar development for resource poor farmers in Malawi.” Bunda College is a campus of the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) located 30 km from Lilongwe.

The project started in the 2014/2015 crop growing season through testing of Andean Diversity Panel (ADP) lines, Phaseolus Improvement Cooperative (PIC) breeding populations, and National Bean Yield Trials (NBYT). The ADP lines were grown at two sites, Bunda and Bvumbwe. The PIC populations were grown at three sites: Bunda, Bvumbwe, and Bembeke. The National Bean Yield Trial (NBYT) was grown at five sites: Bunda, Bembeke, Bvumbwe, Kasungu, and Champira and were composed of materials from the Bean/Cowpea CRSP project conducted from 2004 to 2007. These materials will be tested for their potential for release as new cultivars in Malawi. The seed types ranged from small- to large-seeded and from solid to mottled seed coat colors. The lines are a mix of Andean and Middle American lines and a variety of seed types including black, small red, carioca, brown, sugar cranberry, large red and red mottled.

The 2014/2015 crop growing season was an unfavorable year for crop growth and production. It was characterized by heavy rains at the beginning leading to floods in some areas, followed by terminal drought to end the season. These conditions affected yields of many crops including beans. Bean yields were below average which made evaluation of materials challenging, however important phenotypic data were collected and selections made.

The performance of 38 ADP lines was evaluated at Bunda College with yields ranging from 139 to 935 kg ha-1 (ADP-0113=OPS-RS4) and at the Bvumbwe Research Station, where yields ranged from 95 kg ha-1to 479 kg ha-1 (ADP-0687=Pink Panther). Calima, a check variety, produced lower yields (289 kg ha-1) than the grand mean (386 kg ha-1).

A total of 480 single plant selections were obtained from 35 PIC populations. About 8 to 10 F4 plants were selected from each PIC population, planted in three replications, at the Bunda and Bvumbwe locations. Fewer selections were completed at the Bembeke location due to an unfavorable growing environment resulting from soil infertility, disease pressure and drought. The F5 plant rows from F4 plants were then planted in collaboration with Deidre Fourie at the ARC in South Africa. About 390 F5 progeny lines were selected from the generation advance in South Africa and sent to Malawi for evaluation during the 2016 field season.

The advanced breeding lines in the NBYT were ranked at each site based on yield. Entry F11 MDRB (B) 25 was ranked 1st at three sites: Bunda, Bvumbwe and Champhira, and ranked 2nd at Kaluluma; entry F3 MDRB (A) 8 was ranked 2nd at three sites: Champhira and Bembeke EPA; and entry F10 BC3 D/N 42 was ranked 1st, 2nd and 3rd at Bembeke EPA, Bunda and Bembeke sub-research stations, respectively. The check variety, Bwenzilaana, was ranked 1st, 2nd and 3rd at Kaluluma, Bembeke sub-research station, and Bembeke EPA, respectively.

Plans for the 2015/2016 growing season include continued evaluation of the ADP and continued selection from PIC populations. In addition, a new set of 35 PIC populations will be evaluated that will feed into the National breeding program. National yield trials on advanced lines will also be conducted that include the eight best lines from 2014/2015 combined with a new set of eight lines from preliminary yield trials. Overall this collaborative project is nearing the key objective of releasing germplasm or cultivars for bean production in Malawi.