Characterising hybrid beans

Characterising a hybrid bean collection to advance climate-ready bean breeding

Researchers will be exploring common bean hybrid populations to learn more about their physical characteristics, genetics, responses to disease and ease of use for breeding programmes. All information will be made available here and through CIAT’s genebank.

By reducing the barriers to inclusion of wild material into breeding programmes, we hope to help breeders produce better beans in a shorter time, and have a positive impact on global food security.

Led by project partners NIAB and CIAT, this project is funded as part of BBSRC’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Bioinformatics and Biological Resource (BBR) fund, and will run from May 2018 – April 2023.

About us

To become involved in the research contact Dr Tom Wood.


We have selected 12 populations from within CIAT’s genebank for further study. View a complete list.


  • Characterisation - the materials will be grown in Colombia and the UK, and their physical characteristics recorded including flowering, seed and root traits.
  • Disease screening - material will be grown under controlled conditions at NIAB in the UK and tested for responses to white mold, anthracnose and web blight.
  • Crosses will be attempted against a P. vulgaris line to test viability of offspring and ease of use within breeding programmes.
  • Genotyping - all populations will undergo DArT genotyping to learn more about the background of these materials.


The latest news and updates on the project