Testing Methods, Variation, Morphological and Genetic Studies of Seed-coat Cracking in Dry Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.)1

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68583


Seed-coat cracking injury was determined in Great Northern (GN) dry bean lines in 1977, 1978 (also Pintos in 1978) using 3 methods as follows: Vogel small plot thresher (field), seed dropping, and a controlled rotating impact disk machine. Differences in susceptibility for seed-coat cracking were observed within each testing method. Overall, ‘GN Emerson’, near-isogenic determinate ‘GN Nebraska #1’ and ‘Pinto UI 111’ had the best resistance to seed-coat cracking. A genotype × year interaction for seed injury occurred with the Vogel thresher but not with the other 2 methods. The other 2 methods gave consistent results but the rotating disk machine method was preferred because of ease, rapidity of operation and standardization of the rotation speed. The early and late maturing determinate near-isogenic lines of ‘GN Nebraska #1’ had less seed-coat injury than the early and late indeterminate lines using the Vogel and rotating impact disk method. The early determinate line had the least amount of seed-coat injury for all three methods. ‘Pinto UI 111’, ‘Bulgarian White’, and ‘GN D-88’, which exhibited the best resistance to seed-coat cracking in the 7 parent diallel crossing study, had the most uniform seed-coat thickness as well as having thick seed coats. The cultivars which had thin or thick but non-uniformly thick seed coats were susceptible to seed-coat cracking. Differences in thickness in macrosclerid, os-teosclerid and parenchyma cell layers of the seed coat were observed between cultivars, but no relationship between these cell layers and the seed-coat cracking response was established. Seed-coat cracking was quantitatively inherited. ‘Bulgarian White’, ‘Pinto UI 111’ and ‘GN D-88’ showed high combining ability for resistance to seed-coat cracking. The estimates of the genetic effects indicated that additive effects were mainly involved.

Contributor Notes

Received for publication March 21, 1981. Published as Paper No. 6543, Journal Series, Nebraska Agricultural Experiment Station. Research was conducted under Projects No. 20–36 and No. 20–40. Part of thesis presented by Safi S. Korban to the faculty of the Graduate College of the University of Nebraska in partial fulfillment of requirements for the Ph.D. degree.

The cost of publishing this paper was defrayed in part by the payment of page charges. Under postal regulations, this paper therefore must be hereby marked advertisement solely to indicate this fact.

Graduate student, Professor, Department of Horticulture, Director, Panhandle Station, Scottsbluff, Nebraska, and Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural Engineering, respectively. The current address of the senior author is Department of Horticulture, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801.

We wish to acknowledge grants received from the Anna Elliott Foundation. University of Nebraska, and the Rocky Mountain Bean Dealers Association to support the research. We thank Kelley Bean Co. and Chester Brown Co., Nebraska, for seeds of several dry bean cultivars.

We appreciate the use of the rotating-impact-disk instrument and laboratory facilities provided by Drs. M. A. Ubersax, G. L. Hosfield and M. W. Adams, Michigan State University. East Lansing, Michigan, and for the assistance of numerous staff at Lincoln and Scottsbluff, University of Nebraska.