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Mapping QTL for climbing ability and component traits in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.)

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Common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) varies in growth habit from aggressive climbing types to bush beans. Growth habit is determined by a combination of factors including determinate versus indeterminate growth, total plant height, degree of branching and internode length. Together these factors make up climbing ability. The objective of this research was to determine the quantitative trait loci (QTL) controlling climbing ability in a F5:8 recombinant inbred line population derived from an inter-gene pool cross of an aggressive indeterminate climbing bean with type IV growth habit (G2333) by an indeterminate bush bean of type IIb growth habit (G19839). The population was planted in four randomized complete block design experiments across environments that varied in altitude (from 1,000 to 1,750 masl) and soil fertility (low versus high phosphorus). QTL were identified for plant height, internode length and number of branches per plant on a genetic map covering all common bean linkage groups with a total length of 1,175 cM. In addition a scale was developed to evaluate overall climbing ability and was also used to identify QTL. A total of 7 QTL were found for plant height, 9 for climbing ability, 6 for internode length and 1 for branch number. The largest number and most significant QTL were found on the lower half of linkage group B04 suggesting a major pleiotropic locus for growth habit traits at this location of the genome that is distinct from previously characterized genes which control plant morphology of the crop.

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Fig. 1
Fig. 2

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Branch number


Climbing ability


Days after planting


Internode length


Likelihood ratio


Plant height


Quantitative trait loci


Recombinant inbred line


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We are grateful to Steve Beebe for population development; to Ivan Ochoa and Hector Fabio Buendía for laboratory collaboration; and to Yercil Viera and Alcides Hincapié for their collaboration in the field. This study was financed by FONTAGRO and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and was part of a PhD dissertation at the National University of Colombia.

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Correspondence to Matthew W. Blair.

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Checa, O.E., Blair, M.W. Mapping QTL for climbing ability and component traits in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). Mol Breeding 22, 201–215 (2008).

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