Common bean is among the most important legume crop for protein source in people’s diet globally and including Kenya. Anthracnose is a common disease of legumes that causes yield loss of up to 90-100%. The aim of the study is to investigate the morphological traits associated with anthracnose resistance in selected common bean genotypes in Kenya. The study was done in three varied agro-ecological zones; University of Eldoret, Bungoma and Busia. Fifteen genotypes were evaluated on field experiment to ascertain morphological traits associated with anthracnose resistance. Field experiment was done in a random complete block design. Data were collected on morphological traits and subjected to analysis of variance in SAS version 9.1. The genotypes, Ciankui, Tasha, KK15, KK8, Miezi mbili and Chelalang showed morphological traits that were significantly (P ≤ 0.05) associated with anthracnose resistance, and also with high grain yields of 1.5 to 2.0 t/ha. Morphological traits associated with common bean anthracnose resistance included Leaf width, leaf length, length of fifth internode of the stems, bracteolate size classification and flower colour. It is recommended that management of anthracnose by use of resistant common bean genotype seeds is essential to provide increased bean yields globally and in Kenya.
Key words: Common bean, anthracnose, morphological traits, resistance.
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