Joseph H. Kirkbride, Jr. and Barbara MacKinder
In continuing support of The Bean Bag, The Royal Botanic Gardens (RBG), Kew has offered to take over the editorship on a trial basis but to reduce production annually to one issue in the autumn. Barbara Mackinder will be the editor, and it is to her that enquiries and offerings should be addressed in the first instance (B.Mackinder@rbgkew.org.uk). It is the intention of RBG Kew to continue to offer The Bean Bag in it's current format although Recent Legume Literature will be compiled from The Kew Record (Kew's current awareness list of taxonomic literature). The Directory will be maintained as before, available as it is now in printed form and on the World Wide Web. No other changes are foreseen at this time.
To carry out this project we need to cooperate with African botanical institutions and would be grateful for their experience and support. Only standardized sampling of pods ensures reliable results to evaluate distribution patterns. Ripe pods of four different species of herbaceous Fabaceae will be collected in the field by institutional collaborators. Criteria for the plants to be sampled are abundance and life time. The four species should include: a rare annual herb; a rare perennial herb; an abundant annual herb; and, an abundant perennial herb. Preferably those four species should be from the same genus within each sampling area, but genera can differ between different sampling areas. Suitable genera are those with wide spread distributions such as Crotalaria, Desmodium, Indigofera, Sesbania, and Tephrosia. The ripe pods will be put into glass vials that have been sent in advance, and then returned to us. We welcome the cooperation of African colleagues! Address for further information: Fachgebiet Agraroekologie, Dipl.-Biol. Rainer Dolch, University of Göttingen, Waldweg 26, D-37073 Göttingen, Germany, Tel.: +49 551 39-2358, Fax: +49 551 39-8806, e-mail: email@example.com.
James L. Luteyn
The New York Botanical Garden also invites applications for the 1996 Rupert Barneby Award. The award of US$1,000.00 is to assist researchers to visit The New York Botanical Garden to study the rich collection of Fabaceae. Anyone interested in applying for the award should submit their curriculum vitae and a detailed letter describing the project for which the award is sought. Travel to NYBG should be planned for sometime in 1997. The letter should be addressed to Dr. James L. Luteyn, Institute of Systematic Botany, The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY 10458-5126 USA, and received no later than December 1, 1996. Announcement of the recipient will be made by December 15th. Anyone interested in making a contribution to The Rupert Barneby Fund in Legume Systematics, which supports this award, may send their check, payable to The New York Botanical Garden, to Dr. Luteyn.
The first project dealt with the improvement of food legumes for both highlands and lowlands of tropical zones in Peru and Colombia. In highlands disease resistance, rusticity, and cold tolerance are considered the most important adaptive features. In Peruvian lowlands of desert coastal regions, the most valuable adaptive characters are drought tolerance, earliness, disease and pest resistance, and non viviparous seed, while in Colombian lowlands of the Atlantic coastal region, selection is mainly for a combination of both drought and heat tolerance, together with pest and disease resistances, including several non-identified viruses.
Though common beans constitute the most important crop of the genus Phaseolus, other species such as P. coccineus (Spanish bean), P. polyanthus and P. lunatus (Lima bean) are traditionally cultivated in Central and South America; in particular, both P. coccineus and P. polyanthus are well adapted for the highlands, while P. lunatus is considered a lowland species. Therefore, two major breeding strategies were envisaged: (i) intraspecific hybridization and selection within each of the above mentioned species and (ii) interspecific hybridization either between different cultivated species or between cultivated species and their wild relatives, to transfer useful traits into the cultivated species. The research project involving the Faculté des Sciences Agronomiques de Gembloux (Belgium), the Instituto Colombiano Agropecuario (Colombia) and the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina (Peru) faced several important questions regarding both breeding strategies. In order to achieve a better insight into the genetic diversity of the genus Phaseolus, the electrophoretic patterns of molecular markers, such as seed storage proteins and chloroplast restriction fragments, were analyzed. At the interspecific level a clearer picture of the phyletic relationships within the complex P. vulgaris-P. coccineus-P. polyanthus was obtained. In particular, it was possible to delimite three major groups of taxa: a single-species group consisting of P. glabellus, a species from the Sierra Madre Oriental in Mexico and known to be very well adapted to humid highland forests; a second group including P. vulgaris, P. polyanthus, P. costaricensis and the natural hybrid P. vulgaris x P. polyanthus; and a third group including P. coccineus and the natural hybrid P. coccineus x P. polyanthus. At the intraspecific level, the presence of significant unexplored genetic variability within P. coccineus, P. polyanthus and P. lunatus was demonstrated. Editors: This information was circulating on the Internet without author attribution.
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