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Common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is an important crop of family Fabaceae used as a potential source of proteins, fibres and minerals. Thus, characterization of existing germplasm is useful for improvement and conservation. The Indian Himalayan Region harbours plentiful varieties of common bean, but it is nearly unexplored till date. In the present study, physical and genetic diversity of common bean was examined. Fifteen newly designed chloroplast microsatellite (cpSSR) markers were used to assess genetic diversity and population structure in 119 common bean individuals from 20 diverse accessions gathered from Uttarakhand, India. Significantly, positive (p< 0.05) relationship of seed weight was found with seed length (r = 0.813), seed width (r = 0.692) and seed length- width ratio (r = 0.694) using Pearson correlation analysis. A total of 20 alleles were identified using eight cpSSR markers. Mean number of alleles per locus (Na = 1.55), effective allele number (Ne = 1.370), expected heterozygosity (He = 0.213), average polymorphic loci (10.9) and Shannon information index (I = 0.313) were estimated based on cpSSR data. Maximum genetic diversity (He) was recorded in the AKJ/KK/DP/Jhalla/23 accession and minimum in the AKJ/YB/PS/Supi/43 accession. Bayesian-based STRUCTURE evaluation using cpSSR-based information partitioned 20 accessions into two distinct clusters which were also supported by neighbor-joining cluster analysis. These cpSSR markers also demonstrated transferability among other members like Vigna radiata, Macrotyloma uniflorum, Glycine max, Vigna mungo of Fabaceae family, therefore can be used to monitor their genetic heterogeneity. The findings from the study might be valuable to identify elite common bean accessions for production, conservation and future breeding programmes.
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