Quantitative trait loci for rooting pattern traits of common beans grown under drought stress versus non-stress conditions

A. Asfaw, M.W. Blair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Drought is the major abiotic constraint contributing to yield reduction in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) worldwide. An increasing scarcity of water in the future will make improving adaptation to drought stress a major objective of most crop breeding efforts. Drought avoidance by increased extraction of soil moisture from greater depth under drought conditions is an adaptive mechanism of common bean. A recombinant inbred line population of DOR364 × BAT477 was evaluated for rooting pattern traits in soil cylinder tubes under soil drying (progressive water stress) and non-stress (well-watered with 80% of field capacity) treatments in a greenhouse. One of the parents, BAT 477, is a deep-rooting genotype while the other parent, DOR 364, is a commercial cultivar in Central America. The recombinant inbred line population expressed quantitative variation and transgressive segregation for ten rooting pattern traits as well as five shoot traits of 48-day-old plants. A mixed model quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping analysis was carried out using a genetic map constructed with 165 genetic markers that covered 11 linkage groups of the common bean genome. Genotype estimates were calculated from best design and spatial effects model for each trait. A total of 15 putative QTL were identified for seven rooting pattern traits and four shoot traits. The QTL detected were scattered over five of the 11 linkage groups. The QTL detected for all the root traits except total root length and fine root length were main effect QTL and did not interact with the level of water supply. The total root length and fine root length QTL with significant QTL × environment interaction only differed in magnitude of effect, and interaction was of a non-crossover type. Other QTL for total root length, fine roots, thick roots, root volume and root biomass were co-localized and also explained relatively more genetic variance. This suggests that the QTL affecting root traits in common beans are based on constitutive expression of genes and that drought avoidance based on deep rooting, longer root length, thicker roots, increasing root length distribution with depth, root volume and root biomass can be used in molecular breeding. The positive alleles for most of the QTL detected in this study were derived from the paternal parent BAT477. The results from the present analyses highlighted the feasibility of marker-aided selection as an alternative to conventional labor-intensive, phenotypic screening of drought avoidance root traits
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)681-695
JournalMolecular Breeding
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • phaseolus-vulgaris l.
  • rain-fed conditions
  • phosphorus acquisition
  • water-stress
  • qtl analysis
  • architecture traits
  • shoot genotypes
  • resistance
  • yield
  • cultivars


Dive into the research topics of 'Quantitative trait loci for rooting pattern traits of common beans grown under drought stress versus non-stress conditions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this