The methods of Wall and York (1957) were used to measure cotyledon position in two populations of three species interspecific Phaseolus hybrids and in the single species cultivars and accessions of P. coccineus, P. acutifolius, and P. vulgaris used as parents. Cotyledon position was represented by the length of the epicotyl as a percentage of the total length of the seedling's stem from the first root initial to the base of the primary node. Progeny of interspecific crosses between P. coccineus and P. vulgaris have been shown to inherit the cotyledon position of the cytoplasmic parent. The objectives of this study were to determine if three species hybrids also inherited the cotyledon position of the cytoplasmic parent, and to determine if P. acutifolius could be distinguished from P. vulgaris by its cotyledon position. Results indicated that the cotyledon positions of the three species hybrids did not differ significantly from the cotyledon positions of cultivars of the species used as the cytoplasmic parent for both P. vulguris cytoplasm and P. coccineus cytoplasm. Further, the cotyledon position of the P. acutifolius accessions did differ significantly from the cotyledon positions of both the P. vulgaris cultivars and the three species hybrid with P. vulgaris cytoplasm. These results suggest that cotyledon position may indeed be a species-specific trait for Phaseolus in Lamprecht's sense of the term.
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