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James S. Beaver and Juan Carlos Rosas

Heritability of length of the reproductive period and rate of seed mass accumulation in beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) was estimated using 170 randomly derived F6 and F7 lines from three populations evaluated in the field in Puerto Rico and Honduras during two growing seasons. Narrow-sense heritability for length of reproductive period ranged from moderate (0.43) to high (0.83), and transgressive segregation for shorter and longer reproductive period was observed for the three populations. Heritability of rate of seed mass accumulation was low (0.24) to intermediate (0.49). Lines with high yield potential, which matured 4 to 7 days earlier than the later parents L227-1 and `Catrachita', were selected. Most of the superior lines combined earlier maturity with high yield potential by having greater rates of seed mass accumulation than the early parents `Cuarentena' and `Cuarenteño'. Low to intermediate heritabilities for rate of seed mass accumulation suggest that selection for this trait would be more effective by evaluating advanced generation lines in replicated trials. Several lines yielded significantly more than L227-1 or `Catrachita' by combining long reproductive period with fast rate of seed mass accumulation.