Dry beans come in many colors and sizes, but the most popular-based on its 40 percent share of the U.S. market — is the pinto. And the future looks promising for pinto bean breeders, partly because of a new, high-yielding pinto line that has unique resistance to soil pathogenic fungi.

The new line, TARS-PT03-1, has been released by the Agricultural Research Service and the University of Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station.

The new line offers a new source of resistance to soil-borne fungi that cause root rot, including Fusarium solani and combinations of F. solani, Rhizoctonia solani and Pythium species.

It also offers moderate resistance to common bacterial blight (CBB), according to Rusty Smith, who developed the line. He's a research geneticist at the ARS Crop Genetics and Production Research Unit in Stoneville, Miss.

The new release was derived from TARS VCI-4B (a small-seeded pinto line derived from P. vulgaris and P. coccineus), Montcalm (a dark red kidney cultivar) and MUS PM-31 (a red-mottled tropical germplasm line).

A limited amount of seed is available to researchers and breeders from Ricardo Goenaga, TARS research leader, who can be reached via e-mail at: mayrg@ars-grin.gov.

ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.