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Katy M. Rainey* and Phillip D. Griffiths

High temperatures (>30°C day and/or >20°C night) in tropical lowlands and production areas in temperate zones reduce yield and quality in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). Tepary bean (P. acutifolius A. Gray) is a crop adapted to hot arid climates and is grown in the American Southwest and parts of Mexico under temperatures that are too high for pod formation in common bean. Interspecific hybridization may enable transfer of heat tolerance traits from tepary bean to common bean. Twenty-five tepary bean plant introductions (PI) with the ability to set seed under controlled-environment conditions were evaluated under high (35 °C day/32 °C night) and control (27 °C day/24 °C night) temperature treatments during reproductive development. Four accessions (PI 200902, PI 312637, PI 440788, and PI 440789) exhibited normal pod formation and comparatively high yield when exposed to high temperature, while common bean controls displayed zero pod and seed set. These four PIs showed a mean decrease in seed yield of 72.9% from control to high temperature treatment, as compared to 90.3% among all tepary beans. These accessions were hybridized with the dry bean cultivar `ICA Pijao', and the heat-tolerant bean cultivars `Carson' and `CELRK' and breeding line `Cornell 503'. Immature embryos were cultured to obtain interspecific hybrids. Fertility of F1 hybrids and generation of backcrosses are discussed.

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Katy M. Rainey and Phillip D. Griffiths

The genetic basis for heat tolerance during reproductive development in snap bean was investigated in a heat-tolerant × heat-sensitive common bean cross. Parental, F1, F2, and backcross generations of a cross between the heat-tolerant snap bean breeding line `Cornell 503' and the heat-sensitive wax bean cultivar Majestic were grown in a high-temperature controlled environment (32 °C day/28 °C night), initiated prior to anthesis and continued through plant senescence. During flowering, individual plants of all generations were visually rated and scored for extent of abscission of reproductive organs. The distribution of abscission scores in segregating generations (F2 and backcrosses) indicated that a high rate of abscission in response to heat stress was controlled by a single recessive gene from `Majestic'. Abscission of reproductive organs is the primary determinant of yield under heat stress in many annual grain legumes; this is the first known report of single gene control of this reaction in common bean or similar legumes. Generation means analysis indicated that genetic variation among generations for pod number under heat stress was best explained by a six-parameter model that includes nonallelic interaction terms, perhaps the result of the hypothetical abscission gene interacting with other genes for pod number in the populations. A simple additive/dominance model accounted for genetic variance for seeds per pod. Dominance [h] and epistatic dominance × dominance [l] genetic parameters for yield components under high temperatures were the largest in magnitude. Results suggest `Cornell 503' can improve heat tolerance in sensitive cultivars, and heat tolerance in common bean may be influenced by major genes.