Morphological diversity of tropical common bean germplasm
Common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) landraces and varieties grown by farmers in the tropics are a major source of genes and genetic diversity for bean improvement. These materials are, however, threatened by genetic erosion. In this study, we sought to understand the current state of genetic diversity of common bean in Uganda, using the available collection consisting of 284 bean accessions. A field experiment was conducted at the National Crops Resources Research Institute in Namulonge, Uganda. The level of morphological variation estimated with the Shannon Weaver diversity index (H), ranged from 0.47 to 0.58, with an overall mean of 0.56±0.19, an indicator of moderate genetic diversity. Principal component analysis (PCA) clustered the germplasm into three major groups (G1, G2 and G3). The genotypes differed mostly for growth habit, pod cross-section, pod curvature, hypocotyl colour, days to flowering, node number on the main stem, number of flower buds, and 100 seed weight.
Key Words: Phaseolus vulgaris, Principal Component Analysis, Shannon Weaver diversity index