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


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.


Nutritional quality is an important characteristic of food crop varieties that determines their functional value in the human diet. Micronutrient concentration in turn is an important component of nutritional quality especially for staple crops in developing countries (Frossard et al. 2000). Micronutrients are defined as the trace elements and vitamins needed for human health; their deficiencies affect over 3.5 billion people. Micronutrient deficiencies have increased over recent decades due to a generalized decrease in the quality of poor people’s diets both in developed and developing countries and even in areas where food is not limiting (Graham et al. 2001; Welch and Graham 1999). Furthermore, micronutrient deficiencies are more widespread than deficiencies caused by inadequate consumption of energy or protein. Breeding crop plants for higher micronutrient concentration, an approach termed biofortification, has become an active goal of plant breeding programs in the developing world at both the international and national agricultural research centers (Welch 2002; Bouis 2003).

Among major crop species, legumes are a good source of many minerals, including iron and zinc and other essential micronutrients that are found only in low amounts in the cereals or root crops (Wang et al. 2003). Although legumes are often cited as a complement to cereals in terms of amino acid concentration, they also make a particularly important contribution to nutrition through their supply of these micronutrients. Unlike many cereals that are polished before eating, resulting in significant loss of nutrients, grain legumes are usually consumed whole, thus conserving all their nutritional content. Decreasing legume consumption per capita in certain regions of the world is considered to be one possible cause of increasing iron deficiency, illustrating the importance of legumes in the diet (Graham and Welch 1999).

Common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is the grain legume of greatest volume for direct human consumption in the world and is an important staple crop for small farmers and the urban poor in Latin America and Eastern and Southern Africa with about 8.5 million metric tons produced annually in the developing world (Broughton et al. 2003). Much of the world’s bean production is for subsistence on small farms ranging from 1 to 10 ha in size or consumed by the poor who have fewer options for dietary improvement other than staples. It therefore makes sense to develop a micronutrient breeding program for common beans. Cultivars of common beans show variability for seed mineral accumulation with iron concentrations ranging from 30 to 120 ppm (Graham et al. 1999; Beebe et al. 2000; Guzman-Maldonado et al. 2003, 2004; Moraghan et al. 2002; Islam et al. 2002) and zinc concentrations ranging from 20 to 60 ppm (Moraghan and Grafton 1999; Welch et al. 2000; House et al. 2002; Hacisalihoglu et al. 2004). Additional diversity for mineral concentration has been found in wild or weedy germplasm and related species (Guzman-Maldonado et al. 2004; unpublished data, this laboratory). The range of mineral accumulation in the two gene pools of common bean (Andean and Mesoamerican) is similar, although many Andean beans or inter gene-pool hybrids have higher iron concentration than Mesoamerican beans (Islam et al. 2002).

In higher plants mineral accumulation to various plant parts appears to be under the control of many genes. For example, in Arabidopsis thaliana the inheritance of seed mineral accumulation was found to be quantitative, oligogenic, and associated with various candidate genes for mineral uptake (Vreugdenhil et al. 2004). A more recent study of mineral uptake in cabbage (Brassica napus) leaves found a number of minor effect QTL involved in iron and zinc concentration under different zinc nutrient solutions (Wu et al. 2008). The inheritance of iron concentration in common bean seeds meanwhile has been suggested to be quantitative in a population derived from a wild × cultivated cross (Guzman-Maldonado et al. 2003), while the inheritance of seed zinc concentration has been suggested to be simple although this was studied in a few specific genetic backgrounds (Forster et al. 2002; Cichy et al. 2005). However, no studies have been conducted yet in this crop using the combination of cultivated × cultivated cross and QTL analysis for dissecting seed mineral inheritance.

Our objective in this research, therefore, was to evaluate the inheritance of seed iron and zinc concentration by QTL analysis of an inter-genepool recombinant inbred line (RIL) population of cultivated beans derived from the Andean × Mesoamerican cross DOR364 × G19833 where the parents were contrasting for both minerals and where a full coverage map provided opportunities to scan the complete genome of common bean for mineral accumulation loci. The QTL analysis was based on seed analyzed from two trial sites and with two analytical techniques. This study of inheritance of seed minerals is a first step in assessing the feasibility of improving common beans for micronutrient quality.

Materials and methods

Experimental conditions

The experiments were carried out on a population of 87 F7:11 recombinant inbred lines from the cross DOR364 × G19833 (abbreviated D × G) which was developed at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) as described previously (Blair et al. 2003; Beebe et al. 2006). The population was grown across two field sites: first in Popayán, Cauca, Colombia (1,730 masl, 18°C average yearly temperature, 2,124 annual rainfall, Dystrudepts soil type, pH 5.6) and second in Darien, Valle de Cauca, Colombia (1,400 m above sea level; 20°C average yearly temperature, 1,650 mm annual rainfall, Udand soil type, pH 5.6). Native, HCl and H2SO4 extractable mineral concentrations in the topsoil averaged 2.40 and 4.39 ppm for iron in the first and second sites, respectively; while soil zinc concentrations were 3.56 and 0.76 ppm. Total soil iron levels at lower profiles were 7.88 and 6.84 ppm at the two sites. Both experiments consisted in randomized complete block trials with two repetitions each. Trials were managed with recommended fertilization rates for these locations (60 kg of P ha−1 as superphosphate) banded in the planting row and three foliar applications of zinc and boron as microelements (300 g ha−1 as chelates) at 14 and 21 days after planting. Preventitive treatments of fungicide (Derosal at 1 l ha−1) and insecticide (Lorban at 2 l ha−1) were used to completely control pests and pathogens. In both trials, plots were hand harvested and threshed to avoid contamination by metal machinery. In the first trial (referred to as season A), grain was combined across repetitions and sub-sampled while in the second trial (referred to as season B) each repetition was sampled separately. This was done so as to minimize the costs of mineral analysis while still determining experimental error from seed processing and spatial variability within the field.

Mineral analysis

Two methods of mineral analysis were implemented: (1) Inductively Coupled Plasma–Optical Emission Spectrometry (abbreviated ICP) applied for both trials and (2) Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS) applied for the second trial. We were interested in validating the less expensive AAS method as an assay to replace the ICP analysis. Sample preparation for both techniques consisted of grinding 5 g of seed in aluminum chambers using a Retsch mill and aluminum grinding balls. Samples consisted of whole bean seeds that were surface cleaned with ethanol to remove soil and dust and oven dried before grinding. To determine the homogeneity of the sampling, two replicates were evaluated per technique based on subsampling of the ground powder described above. For the second trial, only ICP analysis was carried out on a single sample from each field replicate. ICP analysis was carried out with an ARL 3580 ICPOES at the University of Adelaide (for the first trial) and with a CIROS ICP Model FCE12 (Spectro, Kleve, Germany) at the Baylor College of Medicine (for the second trial). In both cases nitric/perchloric acid digested samples were used before the ICP analysis. AAS analysis was implemented for both iron and zinc concentration according to the technique of Benton-Jones (1989) and was also based on nitric/perchloric acid digestion (briefly, a total of 0.25 mg of each sample was acid digested with 5 ml of a 2:1 mixture of 65% nitric acid (HNO3) and 70% perchloric acid (HClO4) in 50 ml Taylor digestion tubes for 2 h followed by a heat treatment of 200°C for 2 h and resuspension in 25 ml of deionized water) with samples read on a Unicam SOLAAR 969 mass spectrophotometer in the CIAT analytical services laboratory. Readings were evaluated against standard curves prepared from iron diluted to a concentration of 100 mg l−1 and zinc diluted to 50 mg l−1.

Data analysis

Analyses of variance (ANOVA) and Pearson’s correlations between mineral averages of the RILs were carried out using the program Statistix version 8.0 (Analytical Software, Tallahasse, FL, USA). QTL were detected with composite interval mapping (CIM) analysis that was carried out using the software program QTL Cartographer version 1.21 (Basten et al. 2001) and the following parameters: 10 cM window size, 1 cM walkspeed, five significant background markers, analysis by forward and backward multiple linear regression for each chromosomal position with a global significance level of 5% and probability thresholds of 0.05 for the partial F-test for both marker inclusion or exclusion. In the CIM analysis, determination coefficients were calculated for each interval separately (R 2) and for each interval given the background markers (TR2) to determine the phenotypic variance explained by a single QTL (either alone or in conjunction with all other significant intervals). Population distributions were evaluated for normality with QTL Cartographer and log of the odds (LOD) thresholds for the individual QTL for each trait were determined by the generation of 1,000 permutations of the data for that trait (Churchill and Doerge 1994). Results were displayed using QTL Cartographer and represented graphically with standard drawing software, to designate genomic regions that proved to be significant in the analysis described above. The genetic map for the D × G population was based on the high LOD map presented in Beebe et al. (2006).


Parental differences and population distributions

The parents of the population were contrasting in terms of mineral concentration in both the ICP and AAS analysis but the differences were greater for iron than they were for zinc (Fig. 1). In the ICP analysis for the first trial in Popayán, the Mesoamerican parent DOR364 showed significantly lower iron concentration (42.8 ppm) than the Andean parent G19833 (66.7 ppm) (t-value: 53.0; P < 0.012). AAS analysis for the first trial gave similar results for the parents of the population at this site (46.3 and 68.9 ppm, respectively), as did ICP analysis at the second site of Darién (49.0 and 75.5 ppm, respectively). Zinc concentrations for the first trial of DOR364 and G19833 were more contrasting under ICP analysis (21.7 and 29.9 ppm, respectively) than under AAS analysis (23.7 and 28.3 ppm, respectively); while in the second trial the parents had higher averages (28.5 and 30.5 ppm, respectively).

Fig. 1

Population distributions for seed iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn) concentration among RILs of the DOR364 × G19833 population as determined by Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS) and Inductively Coupled Plasma–Optical Emission Spectrometry (abbreviated ICP). Maternal (A) and paternal (B) mineral values indicated by arrows

Analysis of variance for the field repetitions in the second trial showed significant differences between the recombinant inbred lines for ICP iron concentration (F = 11.4, P = 0.0000), ICP zinc concentration (F = 4.47, P = 0.0000) AAS iron concentration (F = 10.06, P = 0.0000) and AAS zinc concentration (F = 10.8, P = 0.0000). Meanwhile, there were no significant effects of repetitions for any of the mineral analyses showing that within field variability was low.

In both field trials and for both analysis methods, mean iron and zinc concentration in the RILs presented continuous population distributions as shown in the histograms in Fig. 1, suggesting that mineral concentration behaved as a quantitative trait. The range and average of iron and zinc concentrations for all the RILs were similar with both methods in both trials (Table 1). Iron concentration in seeds of the RILs ranged from 40 to 79 ppm in ICP analysis in the first trial while it was from 40 to 83 ppm in AAS analysis and from 42 to 84 ppm for ICP analysis in the second trial. The range in seed zinc concentration was similar in ICP (19–37 ppm) analyses for the first trial and in AAS (17–37 ppm) and ICP (17–42) in the second trial. Skewing and kurtosis were most evident in the distribution of RILs for zinc in the first and second trials with ICP analysis; while all other traits presented normal distributions. Transgressive segregation for both higher and lower mineral accumulation was most evident for seed zinc concentration where some lines of each population histogram had lower or higher mineral concentration than the low and high mineral parents, respectively. In these histograms the parental values were closer to the mean values of the RILs than to the extremes of the population distributions. In the case of seed iron concentration the parental values were located at the edges of the population distribution and less transgressive segregation was evident.

Table 1 Descriptive statistics for seed iron and zinc concentration (mg kg−1) in the DOR364 × G19833 recombinant inbred line population

Comparison of ICP and AAS methods and correlations between minerals

The two methods used for mineral analysis were reliable and gave similar results as shown by low coefficients of variation and highly significant correlations between methods. In terms of repeatability, coefficients of variation for ICP determination of iron and zinc averaged 5.8% and 11.2%, respectively; while reliability of the AAS method was also high with coefficients of variation for iron and zinc respectively averaging 6.9% for iron and 7.1% for zinc. Correlations between the ICP and AAS quantification methods for seed harvested in the second trial were highly significant both for iron concentration (r = 0.727, P = 0.0000) and for zinc concentration (r = 0.828, P = 0.0000). In addition, iron and zinc concentration measured with ICP analyses were correlated between the first and second trials (r = 0.681, P = 0.0000 and r = 0.594, P = 0.0000, respectively). The high correlations between methods showed the reliability of each method in determining iron and zinc seed concentrations. It was noteworthy that correlation values for ICP and AAS methods were higher for zinc concentration than for iron concentration despite the higher coefficients of variation for zinc concentration determination. Simple correlations were also calculated among mean mineral values for the RILs to reveal physiological relationships between the uptake of the two minerals and to evaluate similarity of the two techniques used for their measurement. Significant positive correlations were found between iron and zinc concentration from both the ICP analysis of the first trial (r = 0.3775, P < 0.0006) and the AAS (r = 0.602, P < 0.0000) and ICP (r = 0.7146, P < 0.0000) analyses of the second trial.

QTL identification in the two trials

A total of 26 QTL for increased iron and zinc were discovered across the two trials and methods of mineral analysis (Table 2; Fig. 2). Significant QTLs were detected on linkage groups B4, B6, B7, B8, and B11 for iron and on linkage groups B3, B6, B7, B9, and B11 for zinc. Among the seed mineral accumulation QTL, there were a total of 13 QTL for seed iron concentration and 13 for seed zinc concentration. In the case of the seed iron concentration QTL, the AAS analysis detected the QTL detected by ICP analysis on linkage groups B4, B7, and the distal part of B11, while ICP analysis also detected additional separate QTL on linkage groups B6, B8, and a proximal part of B11. The QTL on linkage group B8 were detected for both trials but at different positions on the chromosome. On linkage group B11, the iron concentration QTL were clustered around two sets of markers with some QTL for both ICP and AAS analyses overlapping near the BMd33–BMd22 interval and additional QTL for ICP analysis found near the marker Bng187. These QTL for iron concentration on linkage group B11 were the most significant loci found, with LOD values ranging from 5.29 to 11.55 and determination coefficients ranging from 17.16% for Fe-AASb11.1 and 47.87% for Fe-ICPb11.1.

Table 2 Quantitative trait loci (QTL) for iron and zinc concentration identified with composite interval mapping in the DOR364 × G19833 population
Fig. 2

Quantitative trait loci for seed iron and zinc concentration in the DOR364 × G19833 recombinant inbred line mapping population (refer to Table 2 for QTL names). Vertical lines for each QTL represent the range of the QTL that are above the LOD threshold (thin line represents lower LOD QTL and thick line represents higher LOD QTL as confirmed with permutation tests); horizontal marks on the lines indicate the LOD peak for the QTL

For seed zinc concentration, QTL on linkage group B11 were also important and these had among the highest LOD values (2.42–8.32) and determination coefficients (8.11–29.31%) although these were lower than those for iron concentration QTL. The positive markers on other linkage groups (B3, B6, B7, and B9) varied in their level of significance and the proportion of variance in mineral concentration that they explained as indicated by the determination coefficients up to 19.02%. The majority of the positive QTLs were associated with alleles from the high mineral parent, G19833; however this was reversed for the case of three QTL for iron (Fe-ICPa4, Fe-AASb4, and Fe-ICPa6 on linkage groups B4 and B6) and two for zinc (Zn-AASb6.1 and Zn-AASb6.2 on linkage group B6) where higher mineral concentration was derived from the DOR364 allele.


The inheritance of iron and zinc accumulation in common bean seeds was shown to be predominantly quantitative with some common QTL found for both minerals. Several lines of evidence pointed to quantitative inheritance. First, normal distributions were observed for each combination of mineral × analytical method and the distribution means were close to the bi-parental means in each case. Second, large ranges in seed iron and zinc values were observed with a two fold difference between the highest and lowest mineral genotypes for each mineral making this population useful for QTL analysis. Third, and most importantly as evidence for quantitative inheritance, was the large number of QTL identified in the study with significant QTLs for iron and/or zinc detected on six linkage groups out of the eleven linkage groups of the common bean genome.

Guzman-Maldonado et al. (2003) also found quantitative inheritance for seed iron concentration with two QTL explaining 25% of variance together; and for seed zinc concentration with 1 QTL explaining only 15% of variance, but they used a wild × cultivated population and an unanchored genetic map and as a result could not define linkage groups through comparative mapping. Meanwhile, monogenic inheritance for seed zinc accumulation was suggested by Forster et al. (2002) and Cichy et al. (2005). However, those studies and a similar analysis of sensitivity to zinc deficient soils by Singh and Westermann (2002) predominantly used Mesoamerican navy beans with results specific to this germplasm group, in contrast to our study where we used an Andean × Mesoamerican population. Gelin et al. (2007) used a partial mapping approach to define QTL in the same population used by Cichy et al. (2005) but found only a single QTL for seed zinc concentration which explained 17.8% of variability for the trait. Meanwhile no QTL were identified for iron concentration in the study of Gelin et al. (2007), perhaps because of limited map coverage. In comparison, our analysis discovered a large number of QTL that were anchored to a known linkage map and are comparable across genetic maps and for various minerals.

Some of the additional findings from our research were important in terms of breeding for seed mineral accumulation. In this sense, an interesting feature of our study was that several QTL for iron and zinc co-localized or overlapped. Co-localizing QTL were most notable on linkage group B11 for seed iron and zinc in both field trials and analyzed with both methods. These QTL occurred jointly at the same marker or closely linked markers in the intervals AN034D to V104D and K126G to Bng1. These results suggest that some of the QTL for the accumulation of both minerals may be genetically linked or pleiotropic, controlling both traits at once. Common QTL for the two minerals were also found on linkage group B7 in the interval M125D to A143G where the phaseolin seed protein locus is located, suggesting an association with phaseolin accumulation, seed size or some other associated characteristic. Meanwhile separate QTL for each mineral alone were identified, on B4, B6, and B8 for iron and on B3, B6, and B9 for zinc. Gelin et al. (2007) postulated that a gene for seed zinc concentration might be located on B9 based on a survey using SSR markers which might be orthologous to the one we have identified. It was notable that most of these QTL for iron and zinc concentration were independent of QTL for seed size as evaluated in one of our earlier studies of the DOR364 × G19833 RILs (Beebe et al. 2006), indicating that dilution or concentration effects of larger seed size on mineral accumulation are not of high importance in this Andean × Mesoamerican mapping population. One exception was the proximity of QTL for iron and zinc in the second season with a seed weight QTL on linkage group B11.

Overall, there was a similar total number of QTL for the two minerals in our study which along with the co-localizing QTL and correlation in iron and zinc concentrations, added evidence that accumulation of both minerals are of similar inheritance. This can be explained by the fact that both minerals potentially have similar mechanisms of uptake or loading to grain (Frossard et al. 2000; Hacisalihoglu and Kochian 2003) and have been observed to be correlated when measuring seed concentrations in common beans before (Beebe et al. 2000; Welch et al. 2000). Guzman-Maldonado et al. (2003) also found correlation between iron and zinc concentration, but no overlaps between zinc and iron QTL, although this may have been due to partial coverage of their linkage map. These authors did find overlap of a zinc QTL with a calcium QTL in their study. The co-localization of QTL for seed iron and zinc that we identified, would be promising for plant breeding of higher micronutrient concentration given that if the same QTL contribute jointly to both minerals, it may be easy to select for these traits simultaneously, both phenotypically and through marker assisted selection.

Inheritance of iron and zinc concentration was found to be mainly additive with high mineral parent G19833 contributing the majority of positive alleles for the QTL identified, although 16.7% of QTL were contributed by the low mineral parent DOR364. In addition, transgressive segregation was low in both of the field trials, supporting the conclusion of additivity and high mineral alleles predominantly in G19833. Any transgressive segregation observed in the iron or zinc concentration population distributions could have resulted from the combination of Andean and Mesoamerican genes for mineral accumulation in the inter gene pool cross evaluated. Similar results were observed by Islam et al. (2004), who found that Andean genotypes with Mesoamerican introgression were likely to be higher in iron and zinc than non-introgressed Andean genotypes. One hypothesis to test in the future would be whether Mesoamerican and Andean beans utilize different components for iron and zinc homeostasis, for example through differential gene expression, that could be exploited to create higher accumulating recombinants. Variability in tolerance to zinc deficiency in common bean (Polson and Adams 1970; Moraghan and Grafton 1999; Westermann and Singh 2000; Hacisalihoglu et al. 2004) suggests that there might be a range of germplasm that would be useful for breeding for higher seed zinc. Certainly for seed iron concentration there is sufficient variability to incorporate additional sources into breeding (Beebe et al. 2000).

In general terms, the range in iron and zinc concentrations observed in this study were similar to those in previous analyses of common beans (Beebe et al. 2000; Islam et al. 2002; House et al. 2002; Welch et al. 2000) and confirm the relatively high nutritional value of common beans compared to the milled cereals (Welch and Graham 2004). It is notable that Guzman-Maldonado et al. (2003) in a cross of cultivated × wild common beans found even wider segregation for seed iron concentration than we did. According to Islam et al. (2002), Andean beans are higher on average in seed iron concentration than Mesoamerican beans, with the opposite being true for zinc concentration although with a smaller differential. This was borne out by our study where G19833 was the high seed iron parent that contributed the majority of high iron alleles compared to DOR364.

Our results suggest that seed iron and zinc accumulation is controlled multigenically or oligogenically, with some common genes affecting the accumulation of both minerals in the genetic background represented by the population analyzed. Several QTL stand out for their greater relative importance with the most significant QTL for iron and zinc on linkage group B11, explaining up to 47.9% and 29.3% of the variance, respectively. The presence of a range of minor QTL along with these more major QTL explained much of the variability for the trait. Total R 2 of the five most significant markers reached maximums of 62.9% for iron and 77.8% for zinc.

In conclusion, this study represents the first evaluation of QTL for mineral concentration in a cultivated × cultivated common bean population using an anchored genetic map with complete genome coverage and therefore builds on previous results. The use of this well studied mapping population will allow the QTL for micronutrients to be compared with QTL for other agronomic traits (Beebe et al. 2006) and also permit the placement of candidate genes for micronutrient accumulation as has been undertaken for A. thaliana (Vreugdenhil et al. 2004). Meanwhile, a further contribution of our study was the comparison of mineral evaluation techniques. While both the ICP and AAS methods were found to be reliable and correlated with each other in our results, ICP was much more expensive both in equipment and operational costs. In addition to providing a savings in reagent and equipment costs, AAS spectrometry required smaller amounts of ground samples so would be the best option for routine screening of iron and zinc concentration. The development of mineral analysis methodologies and an understanding of the inheritance of seed iron and zinc concentration have important implications on biofortification breeding strategies. Based on quantitative inheritance, recurrent selection and/or advanced backcrossing could be predicted as options for developing high mineral genotypes in common beans. The discovery of QTL can also open the way for marker-assisted selection to breed new varieties of common beans with commercial seed types along with higher micronutrient concentration. Furthermore, the present work will permit future studies to focus on certain parts of the genome and certain physiological processes that influence higher mineral concentration in bean seeds.


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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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Correspondence to M. W. Blair.

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Blair, M.W., Astudillo, C., Grusak, M.A. et al. Inheritance of seed iron and zinc concentrations in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). Mol Breeding 23, 197–207 (2009).

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  • Seed micronutrient concentration
  • Quantitative trait loci
  • Nutritional quality