Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version



HORTSCIENCE 26(4):441-442. 1991


Copyright 1991 American Society for Horticultural Science. Used by Permission.


The release of ‘Starlight’, a Great Northern dry bean cultivar (Phaseolus vulgaris L.), fulfills a need in western Nebraska for a cultivar with a relatively large seed size and a uniformly bright-white seedcoat (Korban et al., 1981). Foreign buyers of Great Northern beans desire a larger seed than the current predominant Great Northern cultivar Beryl (J.A. McGill, Jr., personal communication). In addition, the cultivar possesses improved architectural avoidance mechanisms to white mold disease (WMD) incited by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum (Lib.) de Bary (Coyne, 1980), a serious problem in some seasons in western Nebraska.


‘Starlight’ (evaluated as F10 WM1-85-43) was derived by pedigree selection from a cross of the F5 breeding lines GN-WM2-79-12 and GN-SK-80-45. These lines were derived from crosses of ‘Tacaragua’ from Venezuela (black seed, upright architecture, and resistance to rust) × GN Nebraska #1 selection 27 [resistant to common bacterial blight incited by Xanthomonas campestris pv. phaseoli (Smith) Dye] and ‘GN Emerson’ (large white seed and moderate resistance to common blight) × ‘Bulgarian White’ (unadapted line with late maturity and large white seed), respectively. GN WM2-79-12 is resistant to rust, bean common mosaic virus (BCMV), and common bacterial blight and has a moderately upright and open habit of growth, which contributed to its avoidance of WMD. However, it has small seed with a dull-colored seedcoat. GN SK-80-45 has moderately early maturity and large, uniform, bright-white, Great Northern-type seed with resistance to seedcoat cracking.