Molecular Breeding

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 197–207 | Cite as

Inheritance of seed iron and zinc concentrations in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.)

  • M. W. Blair
  • C. Astudillo
  • M. A. Grusak
  • R. Graham
  • S. E. Beebe


Micronutrients are essential elements needed in small amounts for adequate human nutrition and include the elements iron and zinc. Both of these minerals are essential to human well-being and an adequate supply of iron and zinc help to prevent iron deficiency anemia and zinc deficiency, two prevalent health concerns of the developing world. The objective of this study was to determine the inheritance of seed iron and zinc accumulation in a recombinant inbred line (RIL) population of common beans from a cross of low × high mineral genotypes (DOR364 × G19833) using a quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping approach. The population was grown over two trial sites and two analytical methods (Inductively Coupled Plasma Spectrometry and Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy) were used to determine iron and zinc concentration in the seed harvested from these trials. The variability in seed mineral concentration among the lines was larger for iron (40.0–84.6 ppm) than for zinc (17.7–42.4 ppm) with significant correlations between trials, between methods and between minerals (up to r = 0.715). A total of 26 QTL were identified for the mineral × trial × method combinations of which half were for iron concentration and half for zinc concentration. Many of the QTL (11) for both iron (5) and zinc (6) clustered on the upper half of linkage group B11, explaining up to 47.9% of phenotypic variance, suggesting an important locus useful for marker assisted selection. Other QTL were identified on linkage groups B3, B6, B7, and B9 for zinc and B4, B6, B7, and B8 for iron. The relevance of these results for breeding common beans is discussed especially in light of crop improvement for micronutrient concentration as part of a biofortification program.


Seed micronutrient concentration Quantitative trait loci Nutritional quality 



We are grateful to Octavio Mosquera in the CIAT analytical lab for help with AAS analysis, as well as Teresa Fowles at Waite lab and David Dworak at Baylor College of Medicine for help with ICP analysis. This work was funded in part by CIAT core funds, subprojects of Harvest Plus to MWB, SB and MAG, as well as funds from USDA-ARS under Agreement No. 58-6250-6-003 to MAG. The contents of this publication do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of CIAT or the US Department of Agriculture, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the US Government.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. W. Blair
    • 1
    • 2
  • C. Astudillo
    • 1
  • M. A. Grusak
    • 3
  • R. Graham
    • 4
  • S. E. Beebe
    • 1
  1. 1.Biotechnology Unit and Bean ProjectCIAT – International Center for Tropical AgricultureMiamiUSA
  2. 2.Biotechnology Unit and Bean ProjectCIAT – International Center for Tropical AgricultureCaliColombia
  3. 3.Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of MedicineUSDA-ARS Children’s Nutrition Research CenterHoustonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Plant ScienceUniversity of AdelaideGlen OsmondAustralia

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