Characterization of Topiary (top) an Architectural Mutant of Common Bean

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science

Plant breeders are interested in developing upright common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) to reduce diseases and permit mechanical harvest, and improve seed quality. Morphological and genetic characteristics of an architectural mutant in common beans were studied. The mutant had shiny, dark green leaves, overlapping leaflets, and short petioles. Branching was nearly absent, resulting in single stemmed plants. Although mutant plants carried Fin for indeterminacy, and plants progressed in flowering from lower to higher nodes, the terminal node was reproductive. This represents a new form of determinacy in common bean. Inheritance studies demonstrated that the mutant syndrome was controlled by a single recessive gene. Allelism tests between the mutant and overlapping leaflets (ol), and dark green savoy leaf (dgs) showed that the mutant was not allelic to either locus. The trait was designated as Topiary with the gene symbol top, describing its compact and neat appearance. Linkage was tested between top and growth habit (fin), shiny leaves, cross-sectional shape of pods, striped pod (C prpst), and pod suture strings. All genes segregated independently. The genetic merit of the Topiary mutant for improving common beans needs to be investigated, especially the value of single stem growth habit combined with an upright plant habit.

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