U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska



Karen A. Cichy https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4311-0774

Document Type


Date of this Version



Legume Science. 2019;1:e13.

DOI: 10.1002/leg3.13


This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License,. © 2019 The Authors


Dry bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is a nutrient‐dense food rich in proteins and minerals. Although a dietary staple in numerous regions, including Eastern and Southern Africa, greater utilization is limited by its long cooking time as compared with other staple foods. A fivefold genetic variability for cooking time has been identified for P. vulgaris, and to effectively incorporate the cooking time trait into bean breeding programs, knowledge of how genotypes behave across diverse environments is essential. Fourteen bean genotypes selected from market classes important to global consumers (yellow, cranberry, light red kidney, red mottled, and brown) were grown in 10 to 15 environments (combinations of locations, years, and treatments), and their cooking times were measured when either presoaked or unsoaked prior to boiling. The 15 environments included locations in North America, the Caribbean, and Eastern and Southern Africa that are used extensively for dry bean breeding. The cooking times of the 14 presoaked dry bean genotypes ranged from 16 to 156 min, with a mean of 86 min across the 15 production environments. The cooking times of the 14 dry bean genotypes left unsoaked ranged from 77 to 381 min, with a mean cooking time of 113 min. The heritability of the presoaked cooking time was very high (98%) and moderately high for the unsoaked cooking time (~60%). The genotypic cooking time patterns were stable across environments. There was a positive correlation between the presoaked and unsoaked cooking times (r = .64, p < 0.0001), and two of the fastest cooking genotypes when presoaked were also the fastest cooking genotypes when unsoaked (G1, Cebo, yellow bean; and G4, G23086, cranberry bean). Given the sufficient genetic diversity found, limited crossover Genotype × Environment interactions, and high heritability for cooking time, it is feasible to develop fast cooking dry bean varieties without the need for extensive testing across environments.