Condensed tannins are major flavonoid end products that affect the nutritional quality of many legume seeds. They chelate minerals and interact with proteins, thus reducing their bioavailability. Tannins also contribute to seed coat color and pigment distribution or intensity. The objective of this study was to analyze the relationship between quantitative trait loci (QTL) for seed tannin concentration in common bean and Mendelian genes for seed coat color and pattern. Three populations of recombinant inbred lines, derived from crosses between the Andean and Mesoamerican genepools were used for QTL identification and for mapping STS markers associated with seed color loci. Seed coat condensed tannins were determined with a butanol–HCl method and a total of 12 QTL were identified on separate linkage groups (LGs) in each of the populations with individual QTL explaining from 10 to 64% of the phenotypic variation for this trait. Loci on linkage groups B3 and B10 were associated with the Mendelian genes Z and Bip for partly colored seed coat pattern, while a QTL on linkage group B7 was associated with the P gene which is the primary locus for the control of color expression in beans. In conclusion, this study found that the inheritance of tannin concentration fits an oligogenic model and identifies novel putative alleles at seed coat color and pattern genes that control tannin accumulation. The results will be important for the genetic improvement of nutritionally enhanced or biofortified beans that have health promoting effects from higher polyphenolics or better iron bioavailability.
TAG Theoretical and Applied Genetics. 119 (1): 131-142 [DOI: 10.1007/s00122-009-1023-4]