Effect of marker aided pyramiding of anthracnose and pythium root rot resistance genes on plant agronomic characters among advanced common bean genotypes
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One of the factors that accounts for the low yields in common bean is the simultaneous occurrence of diseases on the common bean crop. Bean root rots and anthracnose are the most important common bean diseases that simultaneously occur on the bean crop in Uganda. Moreover, Colletotrichum lindemuthianum, the pathogen that causes bean anthracnose, possesses a high genetic variability which makes it easily break down single gene resistance. Pyramiding resistance genes for both diseases in commercial varieties would ensure reduction of yield losses resulting from the two diseases. However, the effect of marker assisted gene pyramiding on plant agronomic characters is not well understood. Three-way crosses were made to pyramid three anthracnose and one Pythium root rot resistance genes in four susceptible market class varieties. Sequence characterized amplified regions (SCAR) markers were used to facilitate the pyramiding scheme. Correlation analysis and Path coefficient analysis were used to assess the association between number of pyramided genes and different plant agronomic characters. Number of pyramided genes was negatively correlated with number of pods per plant (-0.32), number of seeds per plant (-0.25), number of seeds per pod (-0.18), pod length (-0.17), days to 50% flowering (-0.09) and 100-seed weight (-0.02). Path coefficient analysis showed that number of pyramided genes, plant height, days to 50% flowering, number of seeds per pod and number of pods per plant had negative direct effects on seed weight per plant. Number of seeds per plant had the highest positive direct effects (0.98) followed by 100-seed weight (0.28) while days to maturity had the least positive direct effect (0.03) on seed weight per plant. Only number of seeds per plant had its correlation coefficient (0.94) almost equal to the direct path coefficient (0.97). Number of pyramided genes had significant (P < 0.05) negative indirect effect on seed weight per plant only through number of seeds per plant (-0.25). Therefore, pyramiding higher numbers of resistance genes may cause a grain yield reduction via number of seeds per plant. Therefore, it is important for breeders to simultaneously select for number of pyramided genes with number of seeds per plant and other highly associated traits.