Functional Plant Biology Functional Plant Biology Society
Plant function and evolutionary biology

Identification of candidate phosphorus stress induced genes in Phaseolus vulgaris through clustering analysis across several plant species

Michelle A. Graham A , Mario Ramírez B , Oswaldo Valdés-López B , Miguel Lara B , Mesfin Tesfaye C , Carroll P. Vance D E and Georgina Hernandez B E F
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A USDA–ARS, Corn Insects and Crop Genetics Research Unit, Ames, IA 50010, USA.

B Centro de Ciencias Genómicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ap. Postal 565-A Cuernavaca, Mor. México.

C Department of Plant Pathology, University of Minnesota, St Paul, MN 55108, USA.

D USDA–ARS, Plant Research Unit, St Paul, MN 55108, USA.

E Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, University of Minnesota, St Paul, MN 55108, USA.

F Corresponding author. Email:

G This paper originates from a presentation at the Third International Conference on Legume Genomics and Genetics, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, April 2006.

Functional Plant Biology 33(8) 789-797
Submitted: 26 April 2006  Accepted: 6 July 2006   Published: 2 August 2006


Common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is the world’s most important grain legume for direct human consumption. However, the soils in which common bean predominate are frequently limited by the availability of phosphorus (P). Improving bean yield and quality requires an understanding of the genes controlling P acquisition and use, ultimately utilising these genes for crop improvement. Here we report an in silico approach for the identification of genes involved in adaptation of P. vulgaris and other legumes to P-deficiency. Some 22 groups of genes from four legume species and Arabidopsis thaliana, encoding diverse functions, were identified as statistically over-represented in EST contigs from P-stressed tissues. By combining bioinformatics analysis with available micro / macroarray technologies and clustering results across five species, we identified 52 P. vulgaris candidate genes belonging to 19 categories as induced by P-stress response. Transport-related, stress (defence and regulation) signal transduction genes are abundantly represented. Manipulating these genes through traditional breeding methodologies and / or biotechnology approaches may allow us to improve crop P-nutrition.

Keywords: ESTs sequences, genomics, legumes, phosphorus deficiency, stress.


This work was supported in part by USA Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service CRIS 3640-21000-019-00D ‘Improved Nitrogen and Phosphorus Acquisition and Use in Legumes,’ and CRIS 3625-21220-003-00D, ‘Functional and Structural Genetic Analysis of Soybean.’ GH received a sabbatical fellowship from DGAPA-UNAM.


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