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NDSU master's student earns award

Posted on 9/11/2017

Department of Plant Sciences master's student Carlos Maldonado Mota received the "Best Poster Award by a Young Investigator" at the Feed the Future Legume Innovation Lab Grain Legume Research Conference held Aug. 13-18 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

Maldonado Mota presented his poster, "Identification of New Sources of Resistance to Anthracnose in Climbing Bean Germplasm from Guatemala," which described research conducted by a collaboration of U.S. and international dry bean researchers.

Climbing beans are the main source of protein for Guatemalans. However, the temperate and subtropical climate in Guatemala exacerbates the damage caused by anthracnose, a disease that affects dry bean crops worldwide. Anthracnose is caused by the fungus C. lindemuthianum.

The objectives of Maldonado Mota's research were to identify the most predominant races of C. lindemuthianum in Guatemala; use climbing beans to identify germplasm with resistance to the pathogen; and identify genomic regions associated with resistance using the Genome Wide Association Study approach.

A race characterization of samples collected in the Guatemalan Highlands was developed. As a result of the study, six races of C. lindemuthianum were identified, which will be used to evaluate resistance in the climbing bean accessions from Guatemala. Results from race characterization will be useful to develop anthracnose resistant dry bean varieties in Guatemala.

Genome Wide Association Study results indicated that genomic regions for resistance to C. lindemuthianum exist in the germplasm from Guatemala. The genomic regions are related to race 73, the most common race in North Dakota. The Guatemalan collection was evaluated for resistance to race 73 to determine if new sources would be useful for the dry bean breeding program at NDSU. "The access to this unique germplasm offers the opportunity to unlock new and unique genetic sources of resistance and tolerance to many production problems within our own region," said Juan Osorno, NDSU dry bean breeder.

Maldonado Mota is from Guatemala. Osorno serves as his graduate program adviser.

Osorno also is the lead investigator of a Legume Innovation Lab project that focused on common bean production in the highlands of Guatemala. Collaborating researchers are NDSU Genomics and Bioinformatics Program Director Phil McClean, other NDSU and USDA-ARS researchers, and scientists from the Institute of Science, Technology and Agriculture in Guatemala.

The Legume Innovation Lab, housed at Michigan State University, was funded from 2013 to 2017 by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and has supported collaborative research on grain legumes involving scientists in 10 countries in Africa and three in Latin America and the Caribbean. "The primary goal of the project," explained McClean, "was to work with international partners in multiple Central American and African countries to improve the productivity and delivery of biotic and abiotic stress tolerant common bean and cowpea."

The Grain Legume Research Conference focused on the scientific achievements and research outcomes from the participants in the Legume Innovation Lab. It has been a forum for scientists and collaborators from the United States, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean to gather and present their research findings and achievements on edible grain legume crops over the past five years. This was the final meeting of the group.

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