Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
Abstract The variation within a collection constituted by 36 populations of common bean (Phaseolus vulgarisL.) recently collected in Basilicata region (Southern Italy) was studied. These populations are cultivated in marginal areas of the region mainly for farms' self-consumption. An appreciable variation of seed shape, colour and type of pattern was observed; 34 populations are of climbing growth habit. The frequency of the phaseolin types within the collection was investigated. C, T and S phaseolin types were observed, the type C being predominant (18 of 36 landraces); intra-population variation was detected only for two landraces. Local populations were compared with 28 commercial cultivars widely grown in the Basilicata region and accounting for 80–90% of common bean production. Significant divergences in growth habit and frequency of phaseolin types were observed: 22 cultivars had bush growth habit and 20 showed T phaseolin type. These results stress the urgency of actions devoted to the safeguard of this local germplasm. In fact, the diffusion of alloctonous and not typical germplasm is the first step towards the erosion of useful or valuable genes present in those established local populations.
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