Biotech Updates

Lima Beans Domesticated Twice

September 3, 2010

Using molecular techniques, a research team of Colombian scientists at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Universidad Industrial de Santander, and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture discovered that the present Lima beans were domesticated twice in different locations. The study published in the September-October 2010 edition of Crop Science, concluded that "the ‘Big Lima' was domesticated in the Andean Mountains, while the small seeded ‘Sieva' and ‘Potato' varieties were originated in central-western Mexico."

The team compared the non-coding segments of chloroplast DNA and the non-functional ribosomal DNA segments of the DNA sequences of wild and cultivated varieties of Lima beans from Mesoamerica and the Andes. Using determinants of genetic and geographic effects, unique genetic markers were identified that could distinguish geographic space and genetic similarity. The research will open opportunities for future research and has great implications in conservation and improvement efforts of the bean .

Details of the article can be viewed at