Phaseolus coccineus L. (Runner bean )

Crop Type: Garden Crop

Breeding system: Predominantly allogamous

The genus Phaseolus accounts over 70 different species of which only five show signs of domestication: P. vulgaris L., P. lunatus L., P. acutifolius A. Gray., P. coccineus and P. dumosus Mcfady (Delgado-Salinas et al. 2006). These five species have distinct geographical distribution and reproductive systems.

P. coccineus L. (2n = 2x = 22) is closely related to P. vulgaris and is the third most economically important species belonging to the gens Phaseolus (Spataro et al. 2011). P. coccineus is a perennial climbing crop, often grown annually, for the production of both green pods and dry seeds (Santalla et al. 2004).

It has central American origins, where still today wild forms coexist with cultivated forms. Similarly to other crops of American origin, P. coccineus has been introduced by Spaniards during the sixteenth century; the crop than spread from Spain to the rest of Europe (Papa et al. 2006) .

Due to lower temperature requirements than P. vulgaris, its cultivation can occur in relatively cooler environmental conditions.

  • Delgado-Salinas A, Bibler R, Lavin M (2006) Phylogeny of the Genus Phaseolus (Leguminosae): A Recent Diversification in an Ancient Landscape. Syst Bot 31:779–791. doi: 10.1600/036364406779695960
  • Papa R, Nanni L, Sicard D, et al (2006) Evolution of genetic diversity in Phaseolus vulgaris L. Darwin’s Harvest New Approaches to Orig. Evol. Conserv. Crop. 121–143.
  • Santalla M, Monteagudo AB, González AM, De Ron AM (2004) Agronomical and quality traits of runner bean germplasm and implications for breeding. Euphytica 135:205–215. doi: 10.1023/B:EUPH.0000014912.07993.e7
  • Spataro G, Tiranti B, Arcaleni P, et al (2011) Genetic diversity and structure of a worldwide collection of phaseolus coccineus L. Theor Appl Genet 122:1281–1291. doi: 10.1007/s00122-011-1530-y