Grain legumes are considered major sources of dietary proteins, calories, certain minerals and vitamins, and they are the most widely cultivated and consumed crops worldwide. Among them are the common beans, whose major production volumes came from landraces cultivated in traditional farming systems. The objective of this study was to evaluate the phenotypic diversity of a set of common bean landraces from Mexico based on the agromorphological traits and nutritional composition of the grain in the context of traditional farming systems. Different field and laboratory data were collected and complemented with secondary information published in refereed journals and research reports. The results showed that there are significant differences in the morphological and physiological traits of the plant, pod and grain among groups of common bean landraces of different geographic origins, which were associated with different indigenous groups. Similar patterns were observed in the contents of anthocyanins, polyphenols, flavoinds and minerals as well as antioxidant activity. In the evaluated population groups in each region, there are outstanding populations in terms of agromorphological traits and the nutritional value of the grain that can enable a participatory breeding initiative guided by regional objectives. Some populations from Sierra Norte, Oaxaca, presented higher values in Zn and Fe, and populations from Estado de Mexico exhibited high polyphenol and flavonoid values but stable agronomic behaviour.
Part of the book: Grain Legumes