Developing herbicide tolerance in dry beans

April 1, 2013- March 31, 2017

This project is led by Dr. Frederic Marsolais, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.


  • For dry edible beans, the herbicide imazethapyr (Pursuit) is generally utilized pre-emergence (PRE) or preplant incorporated (PPI) to control broadleaf weeds. Although dry beans have a good tolerance to this herbicide, a major disadvantage is a narrow margin of crop safety which can result in crop injury and reduced yield. A strategy to solve this problem is to develop herbicide tolerant or resistant cultivars.
  • Developing tolerance to other classes of herbicides, namely the broad-spectrum glyphosate (Roundup) or glufosinate (Liberty or Basta), would benefit dry bean production and facilitate crop management. As the genes underlying these technologies are coming off patent and these traits could be deployed in dry bean if suitable stable transformation technology was available.


  • This activity will focus on screening dry bean populations for tolerance to imazethapyr. A large population (ca. 7,500 genotypes) representative of the natural genetic diversity present in the joint AAFC/University of Guelph breeding program will be screened for tolerance to the herbicide.
  • Cell penetrating peptides (CPPs) can bind high-molecular weight cargoes of nucleic acids and proteins and subsequently translocate across cell walls and membranes to the nucleus (Chugh et al., 2010, Ziemienowicz et al., 2012). This innovative technology was developed and is owned by AAFC (Chugh and Eudes, 2008). This may bypass various regulations for commercial release of crops with novel traits.
  • CPP technology can be used to develop herbicide resistance in dry bean plants by genetic editing and engineering genes.