The idea behind marker assisted selection is that there may be genes with significant effects that may be targeted specifically in selection. Some traits are controlled by single genes but most traits of economic importance are quantitative traits that most likely are controlled by a fairly large number of genes. Molecular markers have opened exciting new windows through which to view the natural biological world.

The work has been carried out concerning the plant growth habit in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L., Fabaceae). Dry beans of indeterminate growth habit pre-dominate in many parts of the world. Indeterminate growth habit is controlled by a single dominant gene. No other locus controlling this trait has been reported. Plant growth habit is also associated with quantitative traits. In common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.), the expression of color in flower and seedcoat tissues requires the dominant allele of the P gene. Because of the importance of P in controlling important agronomic traits in common bean, such as seedcoat and flower color, and the potential for studying the role of the P protein as a transcription factor or member of a membrane protein complex a series of molecular genetic analyses to find a marker closely linked to the gene have been performed.

A bulked segregate analysis to identify random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and inter simple sequence repeats (ISSR) markers linked to genes for indeterminate growth habit and color of the seeds in an F2 population from the common bean cross Kristal 137 - indeterminate growth habit and white seed color, and A 195 - determinate growth habit and colored seed coat.

One RAPD and two ISSR markers were found that were closely linked to the gene determining the type of plant habit and we found other eight (six RAPD and two ISSR) markers connected with the gene determining color of the seeds in the intercross A 195 x Kristal 137.

Thus, the coupling-phase RAPD and ISSR markers linked to Fin and P genes detected here could be used to select for some levels of quantitative traits associated with Fin and P in common bean. A marker tightly linked to a gene can be used to select the trait of interest because the frequency of recombination between the marker and the gene is low.

Recent projects:

Molecular biology of carotenoids synthesis in sweet pepper - NSF – Bulgaria; IAEA

Recent publications:

Irikova T., E. Apostolova, P. Popov, 2002: Investigation of automutagenesis caused by natural ageing of seeds in Crepis capillaris, Trav. Sci. Univ. Plovdiv, Microbiologia et Cytologia, 2002. 38, 7, 23 - 28.

Irikova T., E. Apostolova, P. Popov, 2003: Mutagenic effect from insecticide Vaztak 10 EK on Crepis capillaris in vivo, Trav. Sci. Univ. Plovdiv, Microbiologia et Cytologia, 2003, 39, 8, 17 - 22.

Apostolova E., D. Svetleva, D. Genchev, 2005: Diversity In Size and Shape of the Seeds of Bulgarian Common Bean Genotypes (Phaseolus Vulgaris L.), BIC, 2005, vol. 48, 6.

Apostolova E., K. Kouzmova, D. Svetleva, 2005: Influence of Meteorological Conditions on Seed Characteristics of Some Bulgarian Common Bean, BIC, 2005, vol. 48, 8 - 9.

Staff involved:

Name Position Main research interest
Dr. Elena ApostolovaResearch group leaderMarker assisted plant breeding
Vesselin PetrovBiologist, PhD studentGenes regulating carotenoid synthesis
Nikolaj HristozovBiologist, PhD studentOxidative Plant Stress
Evgenia DenevaTechnician