Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Fertilization and early embryo development in reciprocal interspecific crosses of Phaseolus


Fertilization and early embryo and endosperm development were examined in Phaseolus vulgaris x P. acutifolius, P. vulgaris x P. lunatus crosses and their reciprocals. The number and length of pollen tubes were not different between selfings and interspecific crosses. Fertilization was completed in all matings and the time of fertilization was maternally dependent which may reflect the degree of maturation of embryo sacs at pollination. A large difference between reciprocal crosses was found in the time of endosperm and embryo division in relation to the time of fertilization. When P. vulgaris was the female parent and P. acutifolius the male parent, endosperm division occurred at the same time as in P. vulgaris upon selfing, while in P. vulgaris x P. lunatus crosses the time of endosperm division was intermediate as compared with the two parents. The time lapse between fertilization and endosperm and embryo division in P. acutifolius x P. vulgaris crosses was longer than in either parent upon selfing. In P. lunatus x P. vulgaris crosses, endosperm division occurred in only 7–12% of the ovules at 72 hours after pollination. Embryo development in these ovules was limited to the four cell stage although the endosperm was at the free nuclei stage. The severe delay in embryo and endosperm divisions may be the major cause of early pod abscission in P. lunatus x P. vulgaris crosses.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Al-Yasiri, S.A.; Coyne, D.P.: Interspecific hybridization in the genus Phaseolus. Crop Sci. 6, 59–60 (1966)

  2. Brink, R.A.; Cooper, D.C.: The endosperm in seed development. Bot. Rev. 13, 423–541 (1947)

  3. Derbyshire, E; Yarwood, J.N.; Neat, E.; Boulter, D.: Seed proteins of Phaseolus and Vigna. New Phytol. 76, 283–288 (1976)

  4. Honma, S.: A technique for artificial culturing of bean embryos. Proc. Am. Soc. Hort. Sci. 65, 480–481 (1955)

  5. Honma, S.: A bean interspecific hybrid. J. Hered. 47, 217–220 (1956)

  6. Honma, S.; Heeckt, O.: Interspecific hybrid between Phaseolus vulgaris and P. lunatus. J. Hered. 50, 233–237 (1959)

  7. Ibrahim, A.M.; Coyne, D.P.: Overcoming unilateral crossability in the interspecific cross Phaseolus coccineus x Phaseolus vulgaris. Bean Improv. Coop. 18, 32 (1975)

  8. Kloz, J.: Serology of the Leguminosae. In: Chemotaxonomy of the Leguminosae (eds. Harborne, J.B.; Boulter, D.; Turner, B.L.), pp. 309–369. London-New York: Acad. Press 1971

  9. Mok, D.W.S.; Mok, M.C.; Rabakoarihanta, A.: Interspecific hybridization of Phaseolus vulgaris with P. lunatus and P. acutifolius. Theor. Appl. Genet. 52, 209–215 (1978)

  10. Rietsema, J.; Satina, S.: Barriers to crossability: Post-fertilization. In: Blakeslee: The genus Datura (eds. Avery, A.G.; Satina, S.; Rietsema, J.), pp. 245–262. New York: Ronald Press 1959

  11. Satina, S.; Blakeslee, A.F.: Fertilization in the incompatible crosses Datura stramonium x D. metel. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club. 62, 301–312 (1935)

  12. Smartt, J.: Interspecific hybridization between cultivated American species of the genus Phaseolus. Euphytica. 19, 480–490 (1970)

  13. Stebbins, G.L.: The inviability, weakness and sterility of interspecific hybrids. Adv. Genet. 9, 142–215 (1958)

  14. Thomas, H.: Investigations into inter-relationships of Phaseolus vulgaris L. and P. coccineus Lam. Genetica. 35, 59–74 (1964)

Download references

Author information

Additional information

Technical paper No. 4929 of the Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station. Research was supported by the Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station, the Research Council of Oregon State University (NIH Biomedical Research Support Grand RR07079) and the Processor Research Council of Oregon. A.R. is supported by an African Graduate Fellowship from the African-American Institute.

Communicated by H.F. Linskens

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Rabakoarihanta, A., Mok, D.W.S. & Mok, M.C. Fertilization and early embryo development in reciprocal interspecific crosses of Phaseolus . Theoret. Appl. Genetics 54, 55–59 (1979).

Download citation

Key words

  • Phaseolus
  • Interspecific hybridization
  • Embryo development