Biotech Updates

International Team Decodes Mesoamerican Bean Genome

March 2, 2016

A team of scientists from Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and Spain, through the Ibero-American Programme for Science and Technology for Development (CYTED) has decoded the genome of the Mesoamerican common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris).

The PhasibeAm team selected a specific MesoAmerican bean line for (BAT93) genomic sequencing, that is closely related to varieties that are commercially cultivated. The team established a robust technological platform, concluding with the sequencing and assembly of the 620 million base pairs. A total of 30,491 genes were identified in the genome and scientists also analyzed their expression patterns. They also observed and determined crucial events during evolution that have shaped the bean plant as it is known today.

Roderic Guigó, coordinator of the Bioinformatics and Genomics Programme at the Centre for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona, Spain said, "The sequence of the bean genome, both from the Andean variety, previously sequenced, and the Mesoamerican one, will definitively contribute to identify genes involved in disease resistance, drought and salt tolerance, nitrogen fixation, formation of reproductive cells and seed quality, among others."

The second phase of the project will involve sequencing the genome of at least a dozen other bean varieties and some of their close relatives to identify genes related to domestication.

For more details, read the news release at the Centre for Genomic Regulation website.