The overall objective of this activity is to address dry bean production constraints to maximize economic returns to growers and ensure long term sustainability of the dry bean industry in Canada. In the development of new adapted bean varieties, multiple disease resistances, higher yield, greater nitrogen use efficiencies and higher seed quality, are being combined. The new varieties that are selected are produced on approximately 150,000 acres in Ontario, which yield a crop worth approximately $120 M per year, at the farm gate.
Several biotic and abiotic factors pose significant risks to bean production industry in Canada. Therefore, The project targets the development of bean varieties with reduced risk and with reduced dependence on pesticides and fertilizers, leading towards the development of more sustainable bean production practices in Ontario. The work includes broadening bean germplasm diversity by conventional plant breeding, advancing the material to a true breeding condition and extensive testing for yield, maturity, plant architecture, disease resistance, canning suitability, and seed coat colour. In addition, the work includes the development of bean germplasm that doesn’t darken after harvesting. Darkening reduces the commercial value of light coloured beans like cranberry and pinto beans.
The breeding work is initiated and co-ordinated by the University of Guelph in close collaboration with the Agriculture Agri-Food personnel at London and Harrow. The field trials are mostly performed at Elora and Woodstock by the Guelph group and St. Thomas and Harrow by the AAFC group. The workflow includes the creation of new combinations of materials by conventional crossing, several generations of selfing to the F5 stage to stabilize the new lines and evaluations for yield, harvestibility, disease resistance and seed quality in preliminary and advanced yield trails. More than 800 families and 4,000 lines were evaluated. The program also conducts several trials of the Ontario Registration and Performance Trials for Ontario Pulse Crop Committee at Elora, Woodstock and St. Thomas. In 2016, 32 lines were entered into these trials. At its annual Meeting, on Feb, 16, 2017 the Ontario Pulse Crop Committee (OPCC) Variety Subcommittee supported 3 lines for registration (based on their performance in the 2015 and 2016 provincial trials), including: Cranberry Bean: 15-C1; Dark Red Kidney Bean: 15-D1 and Light Red Kidney Bean: 15-L1. These lines are available for commercialization by companies. The navy beans ACUG14-1 (named AAC Shock) and ACUG14-3 (to be named AAC Argosy), which are both resistant to CBB, will be registered by AAFC and licensed by Hensall District Co-op. The black bean ACUG10-B3 (MS Knight Rider) resistant to CBB, will be licensed by Canterra and commercialized through Meridian seeds.
In addition, various studies were conducted to gain an understanding of the genetic control of the traits and develop tools, like molecular markers to assist in the selection of lines with traits such as common bacterial blight or anthracnose resistance, nitrogen fixing capability and seed coat nondarkening. The location of the nondarkening gene was mapped using pinto bean and cranberry bean populations. A better marker than SU91 for CBB resistance in OAC Rex was identified. The information from these studies can assist in introgessing these traits into elite lines in a shorter time period than conventional phenotyping.
Project lead: Dr. Peter Pauls (519) 457-1470 Ext 311 email@example.com