University of Guelph OAC Field Beans OAC
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Plant Agriculture Department Field Bean Breeding Program

Field Bean Program Variety History and Objectives

The Field Bean Breeding Program was initiated in 1977. The work has been consistently supported by funding from the Ontario Ministry for Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs , the Ontario White Bean Producers and the Ontario Coloured Bean Growers. Since its beginning it has released 11 white bean varieties and one pinto bean variety. A white bean, a dark red kidney bean and a light red kidney bean have been supported for registration and will be available to seed growers next year.

The faculty and technicians that have been associated with the program include:

  • Wally Beversdorf (1977-1981)
  • Ken Hough (1981-1986)
  • Tom Michaels (1981-2003)
  • Tom Smith (1983-present)
  • K. Peter Pauls (2003-present)
  • Ali Navabi, AAFC (2008-present)

Current Bean Breeding Program Objectives

  1. Reducing grower's risk of production by developing white and coloured bean varieties with superior productivity, adaptability, and pest/disease/stress tolerance.
  2. Increasing grower's profitability by developing white and coloured bean varieties with superior cooking, compositional and aesthetic properties.
  3. Diversifying the genetic base of common beans by performing inter-specific crosses (with for example tepary and scarlet runner beans)
  4. and pyramiding genes through multicycle intermating to introduce new traits into beans such as disease resistance, leafhopper tolerance and nondarkening seed coat.
  5. Performing genetic research with the bean germplasm to identify, characterize and utilize genes for bean improvement.
  6. Training students in the profession of plant breeding and applied genetic research.

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