This blog reviews the latest products, plants and innovations in gardening. It also provides a link for my many gardening friends who are members of the GardenMessenger and Seedmessenger Yahoo groups and their sub-groups that I moderate.

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Location: Australia

I am a semi-retired UK botanical garden curator and former international horticultural consultant, who has worked extensively in Europe, the Middle East, North America and Australia. I spend part of the year in Australia and part in Europe, mainly due to family and work commitments. I earn my living from writing and editing Internet copy, articles and books. I have written over fifty books on gardening and have been translated into twenty-four different languages. I am a former UK Garden Writer of the Year and a previous Quill & Trowel Award Winner from the Garden Writer’s Association of America. I am interested in developing gardening communities on the Internet and I manage the popular GardenMessenger Yahoo group, along with its various sub-groups like PondMessenger and SeedMessenger. I also edit International Water Gardener and its associated regional web-sites.

Friday, September 08, 2006

New Beans Resist White Mould

Scientists are beating White Mould

Two new pinto bean germplasm lines, known as USPT-WM-1 and USPT-WM-2, have been developed for breeding cultivars of beans that will resist White Mould. The disease is caused by the fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, and affects dry edible beans, especially in North America. Under favourable conditions, the fungus’ mushroom stage will eject millions of infectious spores into the air, infecting nearby bean plants or travelling on the wind to wreak havoc elsewhere. Infected plants typically sport white, cottony tufts on their stems, leaves and pods. Severe outbreaks can reduce both the yield and the quality of the seed.

The new pinto lines owe their resistance to such assaults to crosses made between ‘Aztec’, a semi-upright pinto bean, and ND88-106-4, an upright navy bean breeding line. Besides White Mould resistance, the new pintos offer high yields. However, they have fallen prey to race 53 of Bean Rust and were mildly susceptible to Beet Curly Top Virus. So it seems we cannot have everything.
Photo :USDA

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