Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris
L.) originated on the American continent, specifically in the Mesoamerican zone, and their domestication took place independently in the Mesoamerican area and the Andean zone, giving rise to two well-differentiated genetic pools. It was also noted that the Andean wild populations originated from only a few thousand individuals from the Mesoamerican wild populations, which produced a great bottleneck in the formation of the Andean population. During centuries of cultivation in the Iberian Peninsula after its introduction in the 16th century, beans adapted to new environments, evolving numerous local landraces. Twenty-four local landraces of P. vulgaris
from Spain were analyzed in the greenhouse during two consecutive seasons. From each genotype, five plants were grown and characterized for 17 quantitative and 15 qualitative traits using the International Board for Plant Genetic Resources (IBPGR) descriptors. Data were analyzed statistically by analysis of variance (ANOVA), principal component analysis (PCA), and cluster analysis. The results obtained indicate a high variability for most traits, especially those related to the yield and its components. The PCA and cluster analysis separated the landraces according to the color of the seed, the yield, and the pod and seed traits related to yield. Numerous traits exhibited interactions between the genotype and the environment. Most accessions reached higher yields in spring, in which solar radiation favors photosynthesis and, consequently, photoassimilation. The different response to the changing environment of the set of accessions studied in the present work is of great interest, and it can be exploited in breeding cultivars adapted to a broader range of environmental conditions.
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