Integration of genome and phenotypic scanning gives evidence of genetic structure in Mesoamerican common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) landraces from the southwest of Europe

Theor Appl Genet. 2010 May;120(8):1635-51. doi: 10.1007/s00122-010-1282-0. Epub 2010 Feb 9.


Southwestern Europe has been considered as a secondary centre of genetic diversity for the common bean. The dispersal of domesticated materials from their centres of origin provides an experimental system that reveals how human selection during cultivation and adaptation to novel environments affects the genetic composition. In this paper, our goal was to elucidate how distinct events could modify the structure and level of genetic diversity in the common bean. The genome-wide genetic composition was analysed at 42 microsatellite loci in individuals of 22 landraces of domesticated common bean from the Mesoamerican gene pool. The accessions were also characterised for phaseolin seed protein and for nine allozyme polymorphisms and phenotypic traits. One of this study's important findings was the complementary information obtained from all the polymorphisms examined. Most of the markers found to be potentially under the influence of selection were located in the proximity of previously mapped genes and quantitative trait loci (QTLs) related to important agronomic traits, which indicates that population genomics approaches are very efficient in detecting QTLs. As it was revealed by outlier simple sequence repeats, loci analysis with STRUCTURE software and multivariate analysis of phenotypic data, the landraces were grouped into three clusters according to seed size and shape, vegetative growth habit and genetic resistance. A total of 151 alleles were detected with an average of 4 alleles per locus and an average polymorphism information content of 0.31. Using a model-based approach, on the basis of neutral markers implemented in the software STRUCTURE, three clusters were inferred, which were in good agreement with multivariate analysis. Geographic and genetic distances were congruent with the exception of a few putative hybrids identified in this study, suggesting a predominant effect of isolation by distance. Genomic scans using both markers linked to genes affected by selection (outlier) and neutral markers showed advantages relative to other approaches, since they help to create a more complete picture of how adaptation to environmental conditions has sculpted the common bean genomes in southern Europe. The use of outlier loci also gives a clue about what selective forces gave rise to the actual phenotypes of the analysed landraces.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cluster Analysis
  • Europe
  • Fabaceae / genetics*
  • Genes, Plant
  • Genome*
  • Geography
  • Isoenzymes
  • Microsatellite Repeats
  • Models, Genetic
  • Multigene Family
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Phenotype
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Quantitative Trait Loci
  • Software


  • Isoenzymes