Beans

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Authors: M. A Brick, H. F. Schwartz, J. R. Steadman, R. Hall, and R. L. Forster

Contents

Introduction

Common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) was domesticated by Native Americans during pre-Colombian times. Archeological data suggest that bean was independently domesticated in different regions of the Americas including the Andean region of South America (Kaplan et al.; 1980), Argentina (Tarrago, 1980 as cited by Gepts and Debouck, 1991), and Mexico (Kaplan, 1967; Kaplan and MacNeish, 1960). The oldest domesticated beans found at archeological sites in each of these regions were estimated to have been cultivated between 7000 to 9600 years ago. Wild or putatively wild relatives of P. vulgaris grow currently from northern Mexico to Argentina, often in the same regions as cultivated forms. Domestication has altered the morphology and phenology of the plant, especially growth habit, seed size, seed retention and maturity (Gepts, 1998; Gepts and Debouck, 1991; Koinange et al., 1996). Selection toward smaller, denser plants resulted in shorter internodes, suppressed climbing ability, fewer and thicker stems, and larger leaves. This selection strategy culminated in the compact growth habit of free standing, determinate, and upright indeterminate bean cultivars that were more suitable for mechanized crop production.

The most striking difference between wild ancestors and cultivated bean are changes in pod and seed size (Debouck, 1999; Koinange et al., 1996). During domestication, large seeds were selected for dry seed production in preference to the small seed (preferred for garden bean production) and less dehiscent pods with lower pod fiber content. The large seed size of early domesticates indicates that gain from selection for large seed size was rapid rather than gradual. Seed colors, markings, and shapes vary widely in the species, and local landraces reflect regional preferences in seed type. For example, Venezuela and Guatemala favor black beans; Colombia and Honduras, red; Peru and Mexico, cream, tan or black; and Brazil, black or tan striped. Landraces of climbing beans also occur as mixtures of seed types, especially in Africa where large seeded, colored Andean beans are preferred.

Common bean is the third most important food legume crop worldwide; only soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) and peanut (Arachis hypogea L.) have more production (Singh, 1999). Cultivated beans are divided into two groups based on their edible parts. Dry edible beans are consumed as the mature dry seed after rehydration, and snap beans (e.g., green, string, French or Haricot bean) are consumed for their fleshy immature pods. Dry beans are further divided into distinct market classes based on seed characteristics, and snap bean classes are based on pod characteristics and plant type (Myers and Baggett, 1999). Market classes of dry beans grown in North America include pinto, great northern, pink, small red, black, navy, small white, light red kidney, dark red kidney, yellow eye, Anasazi, and cranberry. Other bean species produced include lima bean, mung bean and azuki bean. Snap bean classification includes green, wax, and Romano (e.g., Italian, flat pod). Both the dry seed and fresh green pods of common bean are consumed throughout the world for their nutritional content.

Taxonomically, common bean belongs to the family Leguminosae, which is further subdivided into subfamily, tribe, subtribe, and genus. The genus Phaseolus is a member of the subfamily Papilonoideae, tribe Phaseoleae and subtribe Phaseolinae (Debouck, 1999). The subtribe Phaseolinae includes many other important pulse crops such as cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. (Walp.)), mung bean (Vigna radiata L. (Wilczek)), adzuki bean (Vigna angularis Willd. (Ohwi and Ohashi.)), moth bean (Vigna aconitifolia Jacq. (Marechal), and winged bean (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus L.). Within the genus Phaseolus, the exact number of species is still unknown. A recent review of the genus by Debouck (1999) suggests that it contains 51 species. Species of Phaseolus have been grouped into sections, based on plant morphology, hybridology, palynology, and molecular genetics, which reflect different lines of evolution and speciation. Debouck classified four sections including Chiapasana, Phaseolus, Minkelersia, and Xanthotricha. The Phaseolus section included four of the cultivated Phaseolus species, namely, P. vulgaris (common bean), P. coccineus (runner bean), P. lunatus (lima bean), and P. acutifolius (tepary bean). Each cultivated species was domesticated from wild ancestors that still grow in the neotropics (Debouck and Smartt, 1995).

Worldwide, P. vulgaris is the most widely grown of the four species. It is cultivated extensively in North, South and Central America, Africa, Asia, and throughout Europe. According to FAO, Brazil and Mexico are the largest Phaseolus producing nations in the world, with annual production of 138,700 and 75,000 Metric ton (Mt) in 2001, respectively. The FAO statistics suggest that Asia, in particular India (213,000 Mt) and China (84,400 Mt), produce large quantities of dry bean, however, these are largely Vigna beans. Worldwide production of dry bean is approximately 11.6 million Mt harvested from 14.3 million ha (Singh, 1999). Data on world production of snap bean are confounded by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) statistics that combine pod production of common bean with Vigna species, consumed largely in India and China.

Pests and diseases affecting beans

Common bean

Rust Diseases
Disease Name Causal Agent Image Gallery
Soybean rust Phakopsora pachyrhizi
Common rust Uromyces appendiculatus
Other Fungal Diseases
Disease Name Causal Agent Image Gallery
White mold Sclerotinia sclerotiorum
Anthracnose Colletotrichum lindemuthianum
Angular leaf spot Phaeoisariopsis griseola
Bacterial diseases of beans (Overview)
Disease Name Causal Agent Image Gallery
halo blight Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola
Common bacterial blight Xanthomonas campestris pv. phaseoli
Bacterial brown spot Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae
Bacterial wilt Curtobacterium flaccumfaciens pv. flaccumfaciens
Virus diseases
Virus Name Acronym Image Gallery
Alfalfa Mosaic Virus AMV
Bean Yellow Mosaic Virus BYMV
Bean Common Mosaic Virus BCMV
Beet Curly Top Virus BCTV
Cucumber Mosaic Virus CMV
Insect pests and vectors
Common Name Scientific Name Image Gallery
Bean aphid Aphis fabae
Potato leafhopper Empoasca fabae
Thrips Thrips tabaci, Franklinella occidentalis and others
Mexican bean beetle Epilachna varivestis
Abiotic disorders
Common Name Cause Image Gallery
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Cool-season legumes

Rust Diseases
Disease Name Causal Agent Image Gallery
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Other Fungal Diseases
Disease Name Causal Agent Image Gallery
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Bacterial diseases of beans (Overview)
Disease Name Causal Agent Image Gallery
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Virus diseases
Virus Name Acronym Image Gallery
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Insect pests and vectors
Common Name Scientific Name Image Gallery
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Abiotic disorders
Common Name Cause Image Gallery
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Warm-season legumes

Rust Diseases
Disease Name Causal Agent Image Gallery
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Other Fungal Diseases
Disease Name Causal Agent Image Gallery
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Bacterial diseases of beans (Overview)
Disease Name Causal Agent Image Gallery
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Virus diseases
Virus Name Acronym Image Gallery
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Insect pests and vectors
Common Name Scientific Name Image Gallery
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Abiotic disorders
Common Name Cause Image Gallery
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Weeds affecting beans

Original Work

Brick, M. A. 2005. The Bean Plant. Pp. 1-4. In, Compendium of Bean Diseases, 2nd ed. Edited by H. F. Schwartz, J. R. Steadman, R. Hall, and R. L. Forster. APS Press, St. Paul, MN. Available at http://www.shopapspress.org/coofbediseed.html

Selected References

  • Brick, M. A., and Shanahan, J. F. 1996. Classification and development. Pages 3-11, In: H. F. Schwartz, M. A. Brick, D. S. Nuland, and G. D. Franc (eds.). Dry Bean Production and Pest Management. Regional Bull. 562A. Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO.
  • Debouck, D. 1991. Systematics and morphology. Pages 55-118, In: A. van Schoonhoven and O. Voysest (eds.) Common Beans: Research for Crop Improvement. C.A.B. Int. Wallingford, U.K. & CIAT, Cali, Colombia.
  • Debouck, D. 1999. Diversity in Phaseolus species in relation to the common bean. Pages 25-52, In: S. P. Singh (ed.) Common Bean Improvement in the Twenty-First Century. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.
  • Debouck, D., and Smartt, A. J. 1995. Beans, Phaseolus spp. (Leguminosae-Papilionoideae). Pages 287-294, In: J. Smartt and N. W. Simmonds (eds.) Evolution of Crop Plants 2nd ed. Longman, London, U.K.
  • Gepts, P. 1998. Origin and evolution of common bean: past events and recent trends. HortScience 33:1124-1130.
  • Gepts, P., and Debouck, D. 1991. Origin, domestication, and evolution of the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). Pages 7-53, In: A. van Schoonhoven and O. Voysest (eds.) Common Beans: Research for Crop Improvement. C.A.B. Int. Wallingford, U.K. & CIAT, Cali, Colombia.
  • Kaplan, L. 1967. Archeological Phaseolus from Tehuacán. Pages 201-211, In: Beyers, D. E. (ed.), The Prehistory of the Tehuacán Valley, Vol. 1: Environment and Subsistence. Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX, USA.
  • Kaplan, L. 1980. Variation in the cultivated beans. Pages 145-148, In: Lynch, T.F. (ed.). Guitarrero Cave: Early Man in the Andes. Academic Press, New York, USA.
  • Kaplan, L., and McNesh, R. S. 1960. Prehistoric bean remains from caves in the Ocampo region of Tamaulipas, Mexico. Bot. Mus. Leafl. Harv. Univ. 19:33-56.
  • Koinange, E. M. K., Singh, S. P., and Gepts, P. 1996. Genetic control of the domestication syndrome in common-bean. Crop Sci. 36:1037-1045.
  • Myers, J. R., and, Baggett, J. R. 1999. Improvement of snap beans. Pages 289-330, In: S. P. Singh (ed.) Common Bean Improvement in the Twenty-First Century. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.
  • Singh, S. P. 1982. A key for identification of different growth habits of Phaseolus vulgaris L. Annu. Rpt. Bean Improv. Coop. 25:92-94.
  • Singh, S. P. 1999. Production and utilization. Pages 1-24, In: S. P. Singh (ed.). Common Bean Improvement in the Twenty-First Century. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.
  • Singh, S. P., and Gutiérrez, J. A. 1984. Geographical distribution of the DL1 and DL2 genes causing hybrid dwarfism in Phaseolus vulgaris L., their association with seed size, and their significance to breeding. Euphytica 33:337-335.
  • Singh, S. P., and Molina, A. 1996. Inheritance of crippled trifoliolate leaves occurring in intensive crosses of common bean and its relationship with hybrid dwarfism. Euphytica 26:665-679.
  • Singh, S. P., Gepts, P., and Debouck, D. G. 1991. Races of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). Econ. Bot. 45:379-396.
  • Singh, S. P., Gutiérrez, J. A., Molina, A., Urrea, C., and Gepts, P. 1991. Genetic diversity in cultivated common bean: II. Marker-based analysis of morphological and agronomic traits. Crop Sci. 31:23-29.
  • Skroch, P. W., and Nienhuis, J. 1995. Qualitative and quantitative characterization of RAPD variation among snap bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) genotypes. Theor. Appl. Genet. 91:1078-1085.
  • Voysest, O., Valencia, M. C., and Amezquita, M. C. 1994. Genetic diversity among Latin American Andean and Mesoamerican common bean cultivars. Crop Sci. 34:1100-1110.
  • White, J. F, and Laing, D. R. 1989. Photoperiod response of flowering in diverse genotypes of common bean (P. vulgaris). Field Crops Res. 22:113-128.

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