Predicting progeny performance in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) using molecular marker-based cluster analysis

Aaron D. Beattie, Tom E. Michaels, K. Peter Pauls

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Recovery of superior individuals from a cross based solely on the phenotypic characteristics of single-plant selections is inefficient because some traits, like yield, have low heritabilities, or because it is difficult to create the correct conditions for selection, as with disease resistance. In contrast, molecular markers are highly heritable and unaffected by environmental conditions. The objective of this study was to investigate the potential of molecular markers to identify superior lines in a breeding population by examining relationships between genetic distances (GDs) and phenotypic data for eight agronomic and architectural traits (branch angle, height, hypocotyl diameter, lodging, maturity, upper pods, pods per plant, and yield) obtained from three locations over a two-year period. From an elite common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) cross, 110 recombinant inbred lines (RILs) and the two parents were screened with 116 random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers. Pairwise GD values were calculated between each line and a selected "target" (the parent 'OAC Speedvale') using the Jaccard method and correlated to the trait data. The correlations were low and non-significant for all traits, except for branch angle (r = 0.30), maturity (r = -0.25), and pods per plant (r = 0.35). The lines were also grouped according to their cluster-based GD from the target parent using UPGMA cluster analysis. Trait data of lines within groups were combined and correlated to cluster-based GD. Correlation values were large and significant for all traits. Additionally, one-half of the top 10 yielding lines and nearly one-third of the best phenotypically ranked lines were present within the 13% of lines clustered nearest the target. A selection method using marker-based cluster analysis (MBCA) is suggested to assist phenotypic selection by directing a breeder's attention to a subsample of the population containing a high proportion of superior lines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-267
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2003


  • Genetic distance
  • RAPD
  • Recombinant inbred lines


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