Genetic mapping of basal root gravitropism and phosphorus acquisition efficiency in common bean

Hong Liao, Xiaolong Yan, Gerardo Rubio, Steve E. Beebe, Matthew W. Blair, Jonathan Paul Lynch

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180 Scopus citations


Root gravitropism determines the relative distribution of plant roots in different soil layers, and therefore, may influence the acquisition of shallow soil resources such as phosphorus (P). Growth pouch and field studies were conducted to evaluate root gravitropism of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) in response to P deficiency and to detect quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with this trait. A deep-rooted genotype, DOR364, was crossed with a shallow-rooted genotype, G19833, to obtain 86 F5.7 recombinant inbred lines (RILs). Root gravitropic traits were measured as basal root growth angle (BRGA), shallow basal root length (SBRL, basal root length in the top 0-3 cm of soil) and relative shallow basal root length (RSBRL, percentage of basal root length in the top 0-3 cm of soil relative to total basal root length). Large genetic variability for these traits was found in the parents and RILs, with BRGA ranging from -18.73 to 56.69° and SBRL ranging from 0.42 to 2.63 m per plant. The parents and six RILs with contrasting root gravitropism were further evaluated in the field, where root shallowness was significantly correlated with plant growth and P uptake. QTL were detected by single point analysis (SPA), interval mapping (IM) and composite interval mapping (CIM) techniques with a genetic map for the DOR 364 x G19833 population consisting of 236 molecular markers. The IM/CIM QTL were detected among the 11 linkage groups of common bean, with 16 QTL controlling the above root traits and six QTL controlling P acquisition efficiency (PAE) in the field study. At least three of the root trait QTL were associated with QTL for PAE, suggesting that root gravitropic traits are associated with PAE and that QTL for these traits can be used to facilitate selection and breeding for higher P efficiency in common bean and other crops.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)959-970
Number of pages12
JournalFunctional Plant Biology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Dec 13 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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