The Bean Project


Common Bean and the Co-4 Locus Project


BeanAntracnoseCommon bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is an annual, predominantly self-pollinated legume grown in all continents, under extremely variable environmental conditions. Bean production is always at risk due to pathogen attack, which can drastically reduce crop yield. For instance, anthracnose, caused by the fungus Colletotrichum lindemuthianum, can result in total yield loss depending on the cultivar and environmental conditions. In fact, Colletotrichum spp. has been rated as the top 10 fungus-caused disease in plants based on their scientific and economic importance. Development of genetic resistant plants can diminish the occurrence of devastating diseases and maximize crop production.

Despite its economical importance, genetic and genomic resources of common bean are still limited. We are taking functional genomics approaches to further our understanding of the bean innate immune system against pathogens. 



  1. Oblessuc PR, Bridges DF, Melotto M. 2022. Pseudomonas phaseolicola preferentially modulates genes encoding leucine-rich repeat and malectin domains in the bean landrace G2333. Planta 256:25.
  2. Vidigal Filho PS, Gonçalves-Vidigal MC, Vaz Bisneta M, Souza VB, Gilio TAS, Calvi AA, Lima LRL, Pastor-Corrales MA, Melotto M. 2020. Genome-wide association study of resistance to the anthracnose and angular leaf spot diseases in Brazilian Mesoamerican and Andean common bean cultivars. Crop Sci 60:2931-2950
  3. Gonçalves-Vidigal MC, Gilio TAS, Valentini G, Vaz-Bisneta M, Vidigal Filho PS, Song Q, Oblessuc PR, Melotto M. 2020. New Andean source of resistance to anthracnose and angular leaf spot: fine-mapping of disease-resistance genes in California Dark Red Kidney common bean cultivar. PLoS One 15(6):e0235215.
  4. Azevedo RF, Gonçalves-Vidigal MC, Oblessuc PR, Melotto M. 2018. The common bean COK-4 and the Arabidopsis FER kinase domain share similar function in plant growth and defense. Mol. Plant Pathol. 19:1765-1778.
  5. Oblessuc PR, Francisco C, Melotto M. 2015. The Co-4 locus on chromosome Pv08 contains a unique cluster of 18 COK-4 genes and is regulated by immune response in common bean. Theor. Appl. Genet. 128:1193-1208.
  6. Oblessuc PR, Matiolli CC, Chiorato AF, Camargo LEA, Benchimol-Reis LL, Melotto M. 2015. Common bean reaction to angular leaf spot comprises transcriptional modulation of genes in the ALS10.1 QTL. Front. Plant Sci. 6:152. Section Plant-Microbe Interaction.
  7. Borges A, Melotto M, Tsai SM, Caldas, DGG. 2012. Changes in spatial and temporal gene expression during incompatible interaction between common bean and anthracnose pathogen. J. Plant Physiol. 15:1216-1220.
  8. Oblessuc PR, Borges, A, Chowdhury B, Caldas DGG, Tsai SM, Camargo LEA, Melotto M. 2012. Dissecting Phaseolus vulgaris innate immune system against Colletotrichum lindemuthianum infection. PLoS One 7:e43161.
  9. Gepts P, Aragão F, Barros E de, Blair MW, Brondani R, Broughton W, Galasso I, Hernández G, Kami J, Lariguet P, McClean P, Melotto M, Miklas P, Pauls P, Pedrosa-Harand A, Porch T, Sánchez F, Sparvoli F, Yu K. 2008. Genomics of Phaseolus beans, a major source of dietary protein and micronutrient in the Tropics. In: Moore PH, Ming R (eds) Genomics of Tropical Crop Plants, Springer, Berlin: pp. 113-143.
  10. Hanai LR, Campos T de, Camargo LEA, Benchimol LL, Souza AP de, Melotto M, Carbonell SAM, Chioratto AF, Consoli L, Formighieri EF, Siqueira MVBM, Tsai SM, Vieira MLC. 2007. Development, characterization, and comparative analysis of polymorphism at common bean SSR loci isolated from genic and genomic sources. Genome 50:266-277.
  11. Melotto M*, Monteiro-Vitorello CB, Bruschi AG, Camargo LEA. 2005. Comparative bioinformatic analysis of genes expressed in common bean seedlings. Genome 48:562-570.
  12. Melotto M, Coelho MF, Pedrosa-Harand A, Kelly JD, Camargo LEA. 2004. The anthracnose resistance locus Co-4 of common bean is located on chromosome 3 and contains putative disease resistance-related genes. Theor. Appl. Genet. 109:690-699.
  13. Broughton WJ, Hernandez G, Blair M, Beebe S, Gepts P, Vanderleyden J. 2003. Beans (Phaseolus spp.) – Model Food Legumes. Plant and Soil 252:55-128. Member of the International Consortium for Phaseolus Genomics, Transcriptomics and Proteomics: Phaseomics.
  14. Melotto M, Kelly JD. 2001. Fine mapping of the Co-4 locus of common bean reveals a resistance gene candidate, COK-4, that encodes for a protein kinase. Theor. Appl. Genet. 103:508-517.
  15. Melotto M, Kelly JD. 2000. An allelic series at the Co-1 locus conditioning resistance to anthracnose in common bean of Andean origin. Euphytica 116:143-149.
  16. Melotto M, Balardin RS, Kelly JD. 2000. Host-pathogen interaction and variability of Colletotrichum lindemuthianumIn: D. Prusky, S. Freeman, and M.B. Dickman (eds) Colletotrichum host specificity, pathology, and host-pathogen interaction, pp 346-361. APS Press, St Paul, MN, USA.
  17. Young RA, Melotto M, Nodari RO, Kelly JD. 1998. Marker-assisted dissection of the oligogenic anthracnose resistance in the common bean cultivar, G2333. Theor. Appl. Genet. 96:87-94.
  18. Melotto M, Afanador L, and Kelly JD. 1996. Development of a SCAR marker linked to the I gene in common bean. Genome 39: 1216-1219


Kelly J.D. and Melotto M. 2003. DNA encoding for a disease resistance gene from common bean and methods of use (United States Patent 6,646,183).

Additional Publications

  1. Azevedo RF, Oblessuc PR, Gonçalves-Vidigal MC, Melotto M. 2017. The putative common bean kinase COK-4 plays a role in plant development. Ann. Rep. of the Bean Improv. Cooper. 60:17-18.
  2. Oblessuc PR, Camargo LEA, Carbonell SAM, Chioratto AF, Rubiano LB, Melotto M. 2013. Innate immunity-responsive genes in a major QTL controlling angular leaf spot resistance. Ann. Rep. of the Bean Improv. Cooper. 56:31-32.
  3. Oblessuc PR, Camargo LEA, Carbonell SAM, Chioratto AF, Rubiano LB, Melotto M. 2012. Determining the genomic structure of a QTL linked to angular leaf spot resistance. Ann. Rep. of the Bean Improv. Cooper. 55:39-40.
  4. Melotto M*, Francisco C, Camargo LEA. 2003. Towards cloning the Co-42 locus using a bean BAC library. Ann. Rep. of the Bean Improv. Coop 46:51-52. * Corresponding author.
  5. Melotto M, Vallejo V, Awale HE, Kelly JD. 2000. Use of RAPD and AFLP analyses to tag the Co-1 gene conditioning resistance to bean anthracnose. Ann. Rep. of the Bean Improv. Cooper. 43:84-85.
  6. Kelly JD, Melotto M, Esteban E. 2000. Integrando la biotecnología com los métodos clásicos en la mejora de la judía. In: A.M. De Ron, and M. Santalla (eds) Actas de Mejora Genética Vegetal, pp. 13-33. Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
  7. Kelly JD, Melotto M. 1999. Biotechnology advances and classical genetic improvement in beans. Proceedings of the VI Reunião Nacional de Pesquisa de Feijão, RENAFE, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.
  8. Melotto M. 1998. Control of anthracnose in dry beans. Michigan Dry Bean Digest. Saginaw, Winter 22(2):9.
  9. Melotto M, Kelly JD. 1998. SCAR markers linked to major disease resistance genes in common bean. Ann. Rep. of the Bean Improv. Cooper. 41:64-65.
  10. Melotto M, Young RA, Kelly JD. 1998. Marker assisted dissection of genes conditioning resistance to anthracnose. Ann. Rep. of the Bean Improv. Coop. 41:9-10.