Economic Botany

, Volume 47, Issue 4, pp 408–423 | Cite as

Genetic diversity and ecological distribution ofPhaseolus vulgaris (Fabaceae) in northwestern South America

  • Daniel G. Debouck
  • Orlando Toro
  • Oscar M. Paredes
  • William C. Johnson
  • Paul Gepts
Article

Abstract

Our goal was to investigate in more detail wild and cultivated common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) accessions from northwestern South America (Colombia, Ecuador, and northern Peru) because prior research had shown this region to be the meeting place of the two major gene pools (Middle American and Andean) of common bean. Explorations were conducted in these countries to collect additional materials not represented in germplasm collections. It was possible to identify wild common bean populations in Ecuador and northern Peru, where they had never been described before. In addition, we were able to extend the distribution of wild common bean in Colombia beyond what was known prior to this study. In all areas, the wild common bean habitat had suffered severely from destruction of natural vegetation. In Colombia, wild common beans were found on the Eastern slope of the Andes (in continuation of its distribution in Venezuela), whereas in Ecuador and northern Peru they were found on the western slope of this mountain range. This geographic distribution was correlated with an ecological distribution in relatively dry environments with intermediate temperatures (known as “dry mountain forest”). Isozyme andphaseolin seed protein analyses of the northern Peruvian and Ecuadoran wild populations showed that they were intermediate between the Middle American and Andean gene pools of the species. Phaseolin analyses conducted on landraces of the Upper Magdalena Valley in Colombia showed that Andean domesticates were grown at a higher altitude than Middle American domesticates suggesting that the former are adapted to cooler temperatures. Our observations and results have the following consequences for the understanding and conservation of genetic diversity in common bean and other crops: 1) Our understanding of the distribution of the wild relative of common bean (and other crops) is imperfect and further explorations are needed to more precisely identify and rescue wild ancestral populations; 2) For crops for which the wild ancestor has not yet been identified, it may be worthwhile to conduct additional explorations in conjunction with genetic diversity studies at the molecular level to guide the explorations; 3) Our study shows the benefit for more efficient germplasm conservation which can be derived from the dynamic interplay between field explorations (and other conservation operations) and molecular analyses to determine genetic distances and diversities; 4) The intermediate materials identified in northern Peru and Ecuador may have basic importance to understand the origin of the common bean and an applied role as a bridge between the Middle American and Andean gene pools; and 5) The differential adaptation to temperature of the two major cultivated gene pools may help breeders select genotypes based at least partially on their evolutionary origin.

Key Words

common bean Phaseolus vulgaris ecological adaptation germplasm exploration isozymes phaseolin 

Diversidad genetica y distribución ecológica dePhaseolus vulgaris (Fabaceae) en el noroeste de Suramerica

Résumé

Nuestro objectivo fue investigar más detalladamente las poblaciones silvestres y cultivadas del fríjol común (Phaseolus vulgaris) del noroeste de Suramérica (Colombia, Ecuador, y Perú) porque investigaciones previas habían enseñado que en esta región se encuentran los dos acervos geneticos mayores (Mesoamericano y Andino) de la especie. Nuevos materiales que no estaban representados aún en bancos de recursos genéticos fueron recolectados en los tres países mencionados. Se encontraron poblaciones silvestres en Ecuador y el norte de Perú donde nunca se habian reportado antes. Además, se extendió la distribución del fríjol silvestre en Colombia más allá de lo que se conocía anteriormente. En todas las áreas, el habitat del fríjol silvestre había padecido fuertemente de la destrucción de la vegetación natural. En Colombia, se encontraron formas silvestres en la Cordillera Oriental (a conúnuación de su distribucion en Venezuela) mientras que en Ecuador y el norte peruano fueron encontradas en la ladera occidental de la Cordillera. Esta distribución geográfica estaba correlacionada con una distribución ecológica en ambientes relativamente secos con temperaturas intermedias (conocidos como “bosque seco montano”). Análisis de isoenzimas y de faseolinas, la proteina mayor de la semilla, mostraron que las poblaciones sihestres de Ecuador y del norte de Perú eran intermedias entre los acervos Mesoamericano y Andino. Análisis de faseolina en variedades criollas del Alto Magdalena en Colombia ensenaron que las variedades de origen andino se cultivaban a más altitud que las variedades mesoamericanas. Esta observacion sugiere que en promedio variedades andinas son adaptadas a temperaturas más frescas. Se proponen las siguientes conclusiones: 1) El conocimiento de la distribución del ancestro silvestre del fríjol común (y de otros cultivos) es incompleto y se precisan otras recolecciones para identificar y salvar poblaciones silvestres; 2) En cultivos para los cuales todavía no se ha encontrado el ancestro silvestre, se recomienda recolecciones adicionales junto con análisis de diversidad genetica al nivel molecular para guiar las recolec-ciones; 3) Este estudio demuestra la importancia para la conservacion de recursos geneticos de una interacción dinámica entre recolecciones (y otros pasos en le conservación) y análisis al nivel molecular para determinar distancias y diversidades geneticas; 4) Los materials intermedios que se identificaron en Ecuador y el norte de Perú podrían tener un papel en la determinación del origen de la especie y como puente entre los dos acervos; y 5) La adaptación diferencial a la temperatura de los dos acervos cultivados mayores puede ayudar a los mejoradores a seleccionar genotipos con base parcialmente a su origen evolucionario.

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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel G. Debouck
    • 1
  • Orlando Toro
    • 3
  • Oscar M. Paredes
    • 4
  • William C. Johnson
    • 4
  • Paul Gepts
    • 4
  1. 1.International Board for Plant Genetic ResourcesVia delle Sette Chiese 142RomeItaly
  2. 2.IBPGRCaliColombia
  3. 3.Centro Internacional de Agricultura TropicalApartado aéreo 6713CaliColombia
  4. 4.Department of Agronomy and Range ScienceUniversity of CaliforniaDavis

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