A wild bean’s genes may help a key crop thrive on a hotter Earth

Scientists at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) with partners in Colombia, Honduras, and Mozambique are working on a globe-spanning project to make the common bean more resistant to heat. The secret lies in its wild ancestor, the tepary bean, which has been grown for at least 2,500 years in the hot, arid regions of the Southwestern United States and Mexico. Researchers are working to exploit the genes responsible for climate robustness in tepary bean – known as Phaseolus acutifolius – and breed them into the common bean, or Phaseolus vulgaris.

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