|Project Title:||Breeding for sustainable and profitable bean production in Ontario|
|Principal Investigator:||Peter Pauls, University of Guelph|
The objectives of the study is to:
- Develop high yielding, disease resistant, novel bean lines for commercialization and utilization by bean producers in Ontario, Canada, the rest of the world,
- Discover new knowledge about: a) the diversity of the bean breeding germplasm in Canada, b) genes that control of yield; c) the sources of disease resistance, d) variability for N2 fixation capacity and e) determinants of bean quality (nutritional value, health promoting properties and visual appeal), and
- Educate highly qualified personnel for the pulse industry in Canada
The common dry bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) is the staple food for more than 300 million people, worldwide. Eighteen million tons of beans are harvested globally with a value of $11 billion. In 2015 the Canadian bean production of 250,000 tons was worth more than $150M and in the last 4 years, Ontario produced more than 40% of that total. Beans also contribute to Canadian society through their beneficial effects on human health and their positive effects on the environment through their ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen. The challenge for global crop production is the need to produce more food on the same amount of land to meet the needs of the increasing population, especially under climate change scenarios.
The work in the current proposal continues to focus on selecting lines with superior yield, disease resistance characteristics and quality traits, across a range of maturities suited to Ontario bean growing areas. The objectives of the proposed project are to:
- develop high yielding, disease resistant, novel bean lines for commercialization and utilization by bean producers in Ontario, Canada, the rest of the world,
- discover new knowledge about the diversity of the bean breeding germplasm in Canada, genes that control of yield, the sources of disease resistance, variability for N2 fixation capacity and determinants of bean quality (nutritional value, health promoting properties and visual appeal), and
- educate highly qualified personnel for the pulse industry in Canada.
The bean breeding program at the University of Guelph, utilizes a population breeding strategy with extensive field evaluation of phenotypes and productivity, supported by increasingly informative molecular evaluation of genetic diversity. In total, over 3,500 families and lines were evaluated in research plots at the field stations in Elora and Woodstock, including 28 lines that were tested in the registration and performance field trials. The Ontario Pulse Crop Committee (OPCC) Variety Subcommittee, supported a light red kidney, two cranberry beans a black bean, and a white kidney bean for registration by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Four lines were licensed by the University of Guelph, including: OAC Vortex, a black bean resistant to CBB, OAC Rosito, a small red bean, 16-D2, a dark red kidney bean, and a white bean resistant to CBB.
New methods are required to maintain the current rate of genetic improvement in beans. This will come from increased understanding of the molecular bases of yield components. Therefore, the current work includes studies of the genetic control of a variety of agronomic and seed quality traits, which resulted in the identification of a molecular marker linked to a common bacterial blight resistance gene that is superior to the current molecular marker for the disease and identified the genomic location of the nondarkening gene on chromosome 10 in a pinto bean population. These results allow us to develop molecular selection methods and advanced marker assisted selection tools that can be applied to make bean breeding more precise and efficient.
The program also provided opportunities for training 1 MSc and 4 PhD students.