University of Wisconsin scientists have transferred the genes that allow an exotic snap bean to grow well under low phosphorus conditions to a commercial snap bean cultivar. Plants eventually developed by the research could benefit farmers by requiring less fertilizer inputs.

The source of the genetic material was a snap bean line from Sweden. Plants from this line produce a large root system and grow well under phosphorus stress. Using standard breeding techniques, the researchers were able to produce new breeding lines in only six generations of beans. On phosphorus deficient soils the new lines were able to produce up to 20 % more beans than Sanilac, a popular commercial cultivar and the parent of the new lines.

Great Lakes Vegetable Growers News. 1985. 19(7):17

For more information:

Dr. Warren Gabelman
Dept. of Horticulture
University of Wisconsin
Madison,WI 53706 USA