Developing drought tollerant dry beans

The University of Nebraska is working on a cooperative research project to identify the genes of drought tolerant dry edible beans. UNL Bean Breeding Specialist Dr. Carlos Urrea is working closely with Jennifer Trapp, a research associate for the US Department of Agriculture and Ph.D. student at Washington State University.

Initially the project began with 140 different dry bean lines. Because it difficult to characterize that many, Trapp says the research group has been narrowed down to 40 lines.

Recently Urrea, Trapp and research technicians spent several days collecting plant samples from the plots at the UNL Panhandle Research and Extension Center. In a interview with KNEB/Rural Radio Network, Trapp also performed extensive phenotyping in focusing on the structure of the plant's roots.

Trapp also collected plant samples in Washington, so the development of the bean lines can be compared across two different locations to help to identify a drought-tolerant line .
Trapp is wanting to identify if certain root traits correlate with water use efficiency.

More analysis at harvest time, because in the end a variety will also also needs to still high yielding variety. Trapp is aiming to identify the traits associated with drought tolerance which is becoming increasingly important as farmers will be challenged to produce more food with less water in the future.

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