Dry bean disease screening and development of germplasm with disease resistance

Project Title:Dry bean disease screening and development of germplasm with disease resistance
Principal Investigator:Jamie Larsen, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Co-Investigator: Owen Wally, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

This research study will:

  1. improve our knowledge and understanding of diseases affecting dry bean production in Ontario
  2. leverage expertise in dry bean genetics by developing germplasm that integrates tolerance to specific diseases, such as halo blight and white mold.

Common bacterial blight is primarily a seed borne disease that hampers the dry bean industry in Ontario through damaged seed that is not acceptable in the marketplace and the ability to complete pedigreed seed production in Ontario, which leads to an added expense to the Ontario producer. Bacterial diseases halo blight and bacterial brown spot may also cause significant issues in Ontario dry beans and it is suspected that these three different bacterial pathogens form a bacterial blight complex, further complicating resistance in dry beans. The goal of this research project is to understand common bacterial blight (CBB), halo blight and bacterial brown spot resistance in dry beans. In 2018, surveys of Ontario dry bean production fields were completed to collect leaves from infected plants. Although there were limited diseases symptoms observed, seven isolates were obtained. Further efforts will be put into surveys for the 2019 field season. To build capacity for indoor testing, the researchers retrofitted existing growth room facilities which will allow for indoor testing and the ability to differentiate between bacterial pathogens that cause bacterial blight diseases. Preliminary testing analysis indicates no correlation between CBB and bacterial brown spot resistance in Ontario-adapted navy bean cultivars. In the field at Harrow, common bacterial blight, white mold and root rot nurseries were completed, with additional testing for white mold taking place at AAFC-London. Associated with this project are general breeding program activities. The breeding program has produced over 50 new crosses in small and large seeded market classes to incorporate bacterial blight resistance broadly into new material. This newly generated germplasm will be useful to study resistance to the bacterial blight complex. Breeding activities also included generation advanced material towards commercialization, some of which will have resistance to bacterial blight diseases.