Legumes’ cultivation contributes services to agro-ecosystems and society, in line with the principles of sustainability. Among pulses, the common bean is one of the most important sources of plant proteins and other important nutrients for humans. Extensive phenotypic and genetic characterisations of unexplored bean germplasm are still needed to unlock its breeding potential. To the purpose, a panel of 192 diverse genotypes, mainly developed starting from European landrace accessions, was characterised for relevant morpho-phenological traits; a partially replicated experimental design was used. For each quantitative trait, Best Linear Unbiased Predictors and broad-sense heritability were estimated. The screened panel revealed a high level of diversity for most of the measured traits, especially for days to flowering and hundred-seed weight. The same material was also characterised by means of double-digest Restriction-site Associated DNA; a high number of SNP markers were successfully produced. The genotyping allowed understanding the fine genetic structure of the panel. Genetic information was also used to study morpho-phenological traits considering different genetic groups existing within the panel. At the same time, genotypes characterised by favourable traits were identified. The availability of such collection with its extensive characterisation, make this material an excellent resource for common bean improvement.
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