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African Bean Consortium (ABC)

Main Focus

The main focus of the ABC has been to pyramid resistances into the local varieties of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris). Resistance traits being introduced are Anthracnose, Common Bacterial Blight (CBB), Angular Leaf Spot (ALS), Pythium root rot, and Bacterial Common Mosaic Virus (BCMV) / Bacterial Common Mosaic Necrosis Virus (BCMNV). This is also being achieved through the use of Marker Assisted Selection (MAS). Within these projects student scholarships have been awarded and training provided in molecular breeding techniques.

"Facilitating Marker-Assisted Selection in Bean Breeding Through Genomics"

To find out more about the ABC breeding programme, the global challenges it faces and the goals of the consortium, please watch the following video presented by Dr Paul Gepts. You can also find this video on YouTube.


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SUA, Morogoro, Tanzania

Research Title: "Use of marker assisted selection (MAS) to improve selection efficiency in breeding for resistance to major bean diseases of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) in Tanzania".
PI: Dr Susan Nchimbi Msolla.

Objectives include; verifying the effectiveness of the incorporated ALS, CBB and BCMNV resistance genes against pathogen strains endemic to Tanzania under field and greenhouse conditions; verifying the stability of incorporated (homozygous) genes above using MAS of the advanced backcross lines; conducting yield evaluation on verified lines containing combined ALS, CBB, BCMNV resistance in multi-location replicated trials; conducting on-farm multi-location trials for participatory selection and release of varieties; conducting studies on pathogen variability in major bean growing areas of Tanzania specifically for ALS and Anthracnose.

NACCRI, Kampala, Uganda

Research Title: "Application of gamete selection and molecular MAS in common bean varieties with improved multiple resistance to major diseases in Uganda".
PI: Annet Namayanja.

Objectives include; introgressing anthracnose, angular leaf spot and Pythium root rot resistance genes into climbing bean variety NABE 12C using a marker assisted backcrossing programme; introgressing anthracnose resistance genes into two market acceptable bean varieties (NABE 13 and NABE 14) adapted to the mid and high altitude regions of Uganda using a marker assisted backcrossing programme; identifying a polymorphic marker for angular leaf spot resistance gene Phg-2 in the parental genotype Mexico 54 and other new co-dominant markers for the SAB 3, SH18 and PYAA19 markers; characterizing Phaeoisariopsis griseola, and identify new sources of resistance to Angular leaf spot, Anthracnose and Pythium root rot diseases of beans for the emergence of new pathotypes.

SARI, Awassa, Ethiopia

Research Title: "Marker assisted selection (MAS) to deploy disease resistance in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) breeding lines and varieties for Ethiopia".
PI: Yayis Rezene.

Objectives include: to deploy common bacterial blight and angular leaf spot resistance in advanced breeding lines and varieties (including the locally preferred variety Redwolayta); to establish physical capacity for employing marker-assisted breeding activities in common beans for Ethiopia, and to train bean scientists in marker-assisted breeding.

RAB, Kigali, Rwanda

Research Title: "Development of common bean lines with multiple disease resistance in Rwanda using marker assisted selection".
PI: Alice Kabeja.

Objectives include: to transfer the resistance genes to anthracnose, root rots and bean common mosaic virus into bean cultivars with desirable and highly acceptable traits but hampered by their susceptibility to bean diseases; to improve efficiency in developing multiple constraint resistance and marketable bean varieties in Rwanda using MAS, and, to implement and strengthen capacity of scientists and technicians in applying MAS technologies to a bean breeding programme.

KALRO, Kakamega, Kenya

Research Title: "Development of multiple disease resistance to Pythium root rot, anthracnose, common bacterial blight and bean mosaic virus through marker assisted selection in common bean in Kenya".
PI: Reuben Otsyula.

Objectives include: to phenotypically characterise bean root rot resistant advanced lines for anthracnose and bean common mosaic necrotic virus resistance; to pyramid disease resistance genes to Pythium root rot, anthracnose, CBB, BCMV and BCMNV in market acceptable bean varieties through MAS; to enhance capacity in the use of biotechnology tools in varietal improvement in common beans in Kenya.