Author Topic: Colourful runner beans and interspecific crosses  (Read 1327 times)

triffid

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 98
  • Karma: 15
  • Legume fancier. South East England 50.8°N
    • View Profile
    • Email
Colourful runner beans and interspecific crosses
« on: 2020-02-26, 09:35:41 AM »
Runner beans, Phaseolus coccineus, are a garden and allotment staple of the British summer.  They thrive in the cool and wet weather of the Isles, and struggle to set fruit properly in hot and dry spells.
However, with climate change, that characteristic cool and wet is not necessarily guaranteed anymore.
Runner beans are also boringly green.

Tozer Seeds has bred a number of runner beans with ‘French bean genetics’ that set in hotter, dryer weather and self-pollinate without insect aid.
These are boringly green too, and I’d like to change that.

‘Aeron Purple Star’ is a purple-podded runner bean discovered by (and available from) Aeron Vale Allotments Trust Chairman, Gwilym ab Ioan, in a crop of ‘Polestar’. 
It has since grown true and is said to be extremely vigorous, stringless, and superior to ‘Polestar’ in flavour and tenderness.
Whether this variety is the result of a mutation or cross is unknown.

I suspect it is a mutation for the following reasons. There are extremely few purple-podded runner bean varieties with which this variety could have inherited its genetics.
I only know of three sorts; ‘Black Pod’ and ‘Chapman’s Purple’, kept by the Heritage Seed Library, and one which translates to ‘Blue Pod’, available from a Danish grower.
I’m also doubtful that ‘APS’  is the result of an intrageneric cross with P. vulgaris. Perhaps not impossible, but I have read that without embryo rescue it is unlikely to develop viable offspring with P. vulgaris as the pollen parent.

However, as one of Tozer’s newly bred self-setting runner beans, the ‘APS’ progenitor ‘Polestar’ may have P. vulgaris genetics, and if so it may be more receptive to P. vulgaris pollen.
‘APS’ could in fact be the result of a cross with a purple-podded French bean, nullifying my previous reasoning.

So, there are a lot of unknowns and suppositions, but this year I will attempt to make a start on unraveling some of these mysteries:
  • I am hoping to find out if anthocyanin expression in the pod is dominant, co-dominant or incompletely dominant by crossing ‘APS’ with green runner beans. There's a variety called 'Yardstick' that has purple striping.
  • I will attempt to test whether the P. coccineus x P. vulgaris varieties bred by Tozer set viable seed when subsequently pollinated by P. vulgaris. There are many of these runners available in the UK - this year I will be making crosses with ‘Moonlight’, ‘Firestorm’, ‘White Lady’, and ‘Wey’, but also on the market are ‘Aurora’, ‘Celebration’, ‘Firelight’, ‘Saint George’, ‘Snowstorm’, ‘Stardust’, ‘Sunset’, ‘Tenderstar’ and ‘Snowdrift’.
  • Veitch’s Wonder’ is a vulgaris x coccineus dwarf green bean of J. Veitch & Sons, 1910, that I will be using in some experiments as a ‘bridge’ between the two species. The seeds of this variety bear striking resemblance to runner beans.

I’ll be making crosses to the Tozer runners with yellow, red and purple-podded French beans. Also crossing the Tozer runners with common runner beans to see if the F1 progeny is receptive to vulgaris pollen.

There are experts and professionals on this forum who have the knowledge to correct my mistakes and point me in the right direction regarding this project, perhaps even to make most of the experiments unnecessary.
What is unknown to me is likely common knowledge in literature, but I haven’t yet found the studies. Any advice and comments, as always, are greatly appreciated.
Zone 9a - brown calcareous earth, high natural fertility base-rich loam - coastal maritime climate

William S.

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 667
  • Karma: 41
    • Botanist, gardener, and preservice science teacher.
    • View Profile
  • Koppen zone: Dfb googled
  • Hardiness Zone: USDA zone 6A
Re: Colourful runner beans and interspecific crosses
« Reply #1 on: 2020-02-26, 04:50:50 PM »
I somewhat randomly planted some Lofthouse Runner Beans and Dakota Bumble Beans next to each other last year. I'll be curious to see if any hybrids result. Not many plants or seeds though so it may be statistically unlikely.
Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian silty clay mollisoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A with 100 to 130 frost free days

reed

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 686
  • Karma: 41
  • Narrow Ridge above the Ohio River zone 6a
    • View Profile
Re: Colourful runner beans and interspecific crosses
« Reply #2 on: 2020-02-27, 08:38:51 AM »
So, there are a lot of unknowns and suppositions, but this year I will attempt to make a start on unraveling some of these mysteries:
  • I am hoping to find out if anthocyanin expression in the pod is dominant, co-dominant or incompletely dominant by crossing ‘APS’ with green runner beans.
I'm far from expert but I can say in my garden purple is very common in my crossed beans, too common in fact since we don't like the associated flavor in a snap bean. I have one bean who's original maternal parent was the green bean, KY Wonder but this bean 4 or 5 generations down the line is solid dark purple. Even more purple than the purple streaked original father variety(s ). I don't really know though, how that applies to dominance. [/list]

Richard Watson

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 469
  • Karma: 28
  • South Island - New Zealand
    • View Profile
    • Sentinels Group Seeds
    • Email
  • Koppen zone: Cfb
Re: Colourful runner beans and interspecific crosses
« Reply #3 on: 2020-02-27, 10:00:12 PM »
I grew a runner bean called 'Defiance' this growing season that produced wonderfully during our dry warm summer. I know little of its history other than its been grown in NZ for a long time, its shown it's well suited to this climate that is far from what you would call a cool and wet climate.
Changeable climate manly during winter & spring - just under 500mm average yearly rainfall. 20 years of soil improvements plus sub soil top soil reversal means my garden beds are about half metre deep. Below that is 100's of metres of alluvial out wash from the Southern
alps

galina

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 49
  • Karma: 12
    • View Profile
Re: Colourful runner beans and interspecific crosses
« Reply #4 on: 2020-03-03, 08:13:20 AM »
I grew a runner bean called 'Defiance' this growing season that produced wonderfully during our dry warm summer. I know little of its history other than its been grown in NZ for a long time, its shown it's well suited to this climate that is far from what you would call a cool and wet climate.

Do you know Richard whether this is the same as Daniel's Defiance which the Heritage Seed Library in UK are maintaining, said to be an old UK variety?  Did it produce good pods or good seeds in your climate?
Central England, cool, maritime (ish), cloudy, often dry, but recent weather unpredictable

kal52

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Karma: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Colourful runner beans and interspecific crosses
« Reply #5 on: 2020-03-06, 02:58:15 PM »
Such a good thread!  Here is my two cents on pod color:

In common bean at least, purple pod is fully dominant (Prp), but there is multiple gene interaction for expression:

Purple pod also requires a dominant allele at the V (for anthocyanin production in plant), while Prp v gives a red pod color. Prp is also tightly linked to the C locus for  seed coat color/pattern.

Striped pods are from a third allele at the Prp locus, prp^st, which is recessive to Prp but (I think?) dominant to prp for green pods.

The table attached is from Bassett 2005 'A New Gene (Prpi-2) for Intensified Anthocyanin Expression (IAE) Syndrome in Common Bean and a Reconciliation of Gene Symbols Used by Early Investigators for Purple Pod and IAE Syndrome' which seems to be a good review of pod color inheritance (possibly paywalled though, hope they don't mind me sharing the table).

Triffid - thanks for sharing info on those Tozer lines, super interesting! Do you know much about any bush/determinate runner beans? I've heard there were breeding programs for such a thing (probably white seeded ones only) in Italy, but haven't been able to track much of anything down on the internet.




galina

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 49
  • Karma: 12
    • View Profile
Re: Colourful runner beans and interspecific crosses
« Reply #6 on: 2020-03-07, 03:20:27 PM »
kal52 welcome to this group!

Thank you for this interesting gene table.  Keep it coming.  We are spoiled for pea genes thanks to the John Innes Institute online info, but for beans not so much.  Any info you have for bean genes is very welcome. 

There is a bush ph coccineus that has been around for a number of years, called Hestia.  With red and white flowers. 

https://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/bean-runner-hestia/classid.2000023948/?affiliate=googleproductfeed&gclid=Cj0KCQiAqY3zBRDQARIsAJeCVxNsm_w98kI1zncf6K0fpchXA0u7tkZNTiPRkx6KnFsn5_84yRTkxfgaAhKqEALw_wcB

Probably there are others too. 
Central England, cool, maritime (ish), cloudy, often dry, but recent weather unpredictable

triffid

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 98
  • Karma: 15
  • Legume fancier. South East England 50.8°N
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Colourful runner beans and interspecific crosses
« Reply #7 on: 2020-03-12, 02:31:05 PM »
    I somewhat randomly planted some Lofthouse Runner Beans and Dakota Bumble Beans next to each other last year. I'll be curious to see if any hybrids result. Not many plants or seeds though so it may be statistically unlikely.
    Fingers crossed. Planning on trying any crosses with hand pollination?

    I'm far from expert but I can say in my garden purple is very common in my crossed beans, too common in fact since we don't like the associated flavor in a snap bean. I have one bean who's original maternal parent was the green bean, KY Wonder but this bean 4 or 5 generations down the line is solid dark purple. Even more purple than the purple streaked original father variety(s ). I don't really know though, how that applies to dominance. [/list]
    I believe you're right, that purple is dominant - in French beans at least. Interesting how the streaked parent led to solid purple offspring.

    I grew a runner bean called 'Defiance' this growing season that produced wonderfully during our dry warm summer. I know little of its history other than its been grown in NZ for a long time, its shown it's well suited to this climate that is far from what you would call a cool and wet climate.
    Very cool, must be totally adapted to your region. Good trait to have in our ever-hotter summers. Do you irrigate them at all?
    Zone 9a - brown calcareous earth, high natural fertility base-rich loam - coastal maritime climate

    triffid

    • Full Member
    • *****
    • Posts: 98
    • Karma: 15
    • Legume fancier. South East England 50.8°N
      • View Profile
      • Email
    Re: Colourful runner beans and interspecific crosses
    « Reply #8 on: 2020-03-12, 02:49:55 PM »
    Thanks for the informative post kal. Galina linked me to some Phaseolus gene databases http://opensourceplantbreeding.org/forum/index.php?topic=276.0 a little while ago - I need to spend more time familiarizing myself with the info you have both shared.

    Regarding determinate runners, Hestia is popular, and I know of 'Pickwick' (red), 'Millionaire' (red), 'Jackpot Mixed' (red, pink, white, red/white), 'Kontra' (white) and 'Eureka' (white). The thought of the long pods dangling close to/on the ground put me off growing them.
    « Last Edit: 2020-03-12, 02:58:45 PM by triffid »
    Zone 9a - brown calcareous earth, high natural fertility base-rich loam - coastal maritime climate

    kal52

    • Newbie
    • *
    • Posts: 2
    • Karma: 1
      • View Profile
    Re: Colourful runner beans and interspecific crosses
    « Reply #9 on: 2020-03-15, 10:12:32 AM »
    Glad it was useful! Let me know if you have other bean gene questions you can't answer and I'm happy to dig around in the literature.

    Thanks for the bush runner suggestions - I've requested Hestia and Jackpot mixed from Kings, it was difficult to find a seed co that would ship to the US but I'm hoping they can get those across the pond. I found out the Italian cultivar (bred for mechanical harvest, so it might hold its pods higher off the ground) is called Venere (Venus) but isn't sold commercially anymore.

    triffid

    • Full Member
    • *****
    • Posts: 98
    • Karma: 15
    • Legume fancier. South East England 50.8°N
      • View Profile
      • Email
    Re: Colourful runner beans and interspecific crosses
    « Reply #10 on: 2020-03-16, 06:06:57 PM »
    Reading a paper on the breeding of 'Venere' confirms that the determinate cultivars are in fact interspecific hybrids, with the determinate trait inherited from the P. vulgaris mother, backcrossed 2 generations with P. coccineus father and finally crossed with a P. coccineus mother for cytoplasm inheritance https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI.30.7.1483

    Needless to say this is extremely useful information for the project at hand. And I probably wouldn't have found this particular paper unless you had brought up 'Venere', so thanks very much kal!
    Zone 9a - brown calcareous earth, high natural fertility base-rich loam - coastal maritime climate

    Diane Whitehead

    • Full Member
    • *****
    • Posts: 188
    • Karma: 21
      • View Profile
      • Email
    Re: Colourful runner beans and interspecific crosses
    « Reply #11 on: 2020-05-06, 11:43:38 PM »
    Do the self-setting runner X vulgaris crosses reproduce true?
    Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
    cool mediterranean climate  warm dry summers, mild wet winters,  70 cm rain,   sandy soil

    triffid

    • Full Member
    • *****
    • Posts: 98
    • Karma: 15
    • Legume fancier. South East England 50.8°N
      • View Profile
      • Email
    Re: Colourful runner beans and interspecific crosses
    « Reply #12 on: 2020-05-07, 07:39:36 AM »
    They do, but I'm sure they remain as promiscuous as 'standard' runner beans.
    Zone 9a - brown calcareous earth, high natural fertility base-rich loam - coastal maritime climate

    Andrew Barney

    • Full Member
    • *****
    • Posts: 379
    • Karma: 34
    • Northern Colorado, Semi-Arid Climate, USA
      • View Profile
      • Email
    Re: Colourful runner beans and interspecific crosses
    « Reply #13 on: 2020-05-08, 09:18:16 AM »
    I planted about 6 seeds for runner bean common bean hybrids last week. I stole them from a plant at ARDEC in the student example plot last fall. I'll let you know if they grow
    « Last Edit: 2020-05-08, 09:21:08 AM by Andrew Barney »

    Diane Whitehead

    • Full Member
    • *****
    • Posts: 188
    • Karma: 21
      • View Profile
      • Email
    Re: Colourful runner beans and interspecific crosses
    « Reply #14 on: 2020-05-08, 10:24:25 AM »
    So, are the ones you stole F1?

    I'm assuming all the ones that are sold in the UK have been stabilized and therefore breed true..
    Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
    cool mediterranean climate  warm dry summers, mild wet winters,  70 cm rain,   sandy soil