Case studies on breeding systems and its consequences for germplasm conservation: 3. Electrophoretic mobility of phaseolins in wild populations of Lima beans (Phaseolus lunatus L.) in the Central Valley of Costa Rica

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We studied the variation in the electrophoretic mobility of phaseolins of 202 individual seeds from thirty-eight wild populations of Lima beans (Phaseolus lunatus) in the Central Valley of Costa Rica. We found four main polypeptides or banding regions with molecular weights which ranged from 21.5 to 31 kDaltons. Two of these peptides were polymorphic, and their combination resulted in four distinct genotypes. The frequency of the different genotypes varies among populations, but two of them, namely B11C11, B22C22, were found in most of the populations studied (37 out of 38 populations examined). Overall, there was a lack of heterozygotes among the individuals examined, which strongly suggests that there is gametic disequilibrium for the encoding regions involved in the synthesis of these polypeptides. When we arranged the populations into eight groups according to their proximity and phenology, we found that the distribution of the peptides was also variable among them. The possible association between the distribution of the patterns of electrophoretic mobility observed and climatic factors, such as mean annual rainfall, mean annual temperature and mean annual relative humidity is discussed.

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