INCREASE – Intelligent Collections of Food Legumes Genetic Resources for European Agrofood Systems

Instructions & Tutorials

Correct use of the colour checker

In order to collect accurate data and take high quality pictures, we suggest placing the colour checker on a rigid support. This will reduce image distortions and allow for capturing the traits of the bean plants (flowers, pods, leaves, etc.) more clearly. Please refer to this brief video tutorial on how to construct your rigid colour checker support in a few very easy steps:

Preparing the Colour Checker

Scoring the leaf shape

Bean leaves are trifoliate. This means that each leaf consists of three leaflets. The trait we need you to score is the shape of the terminal leaflet on the third fully developed leaf of one plant. Please take an image of the full leaf still attached to the plant using the colour checker and placing the leaf in the middle with the colour scale visible. Please consult the video for further instructions:

Tutorial: Scoring the Leaf Shape

Pod formation

Using the INCREASE CSA App, you can provide valuable data on the time of the first visible appearance of a bean pod in your plot and take a picture as suggested in the video tutorial:

Tutorial: Pod Formation

Colour and shape of a fresh pod

In order to collect data about the shape (curvature) and colour of a fresh pod, please take a picture of a fully expanded immature pod, fully ripened, but before the harvesting stage (not dry) directly on the living plant, as indicated in the video tutorial. Please leave the pod alive at the plant until harvesting time (dry pod).

Tutorial: Capturing Colour and Shape of a Fresh Pod

Dry pod harvesting, colour checking and threshing

When the pod is dry and ready for harvesting, you can harvest it using scissors. Cut one or more dry pods and place them on the colour checker to take a picture before threshing and taking another picture of the seeds. Please use this video as guidance for this step of documenting the process:

Tutorial: Dry Pod Harvesting, Colour Checking and Threshing


Sowing Instructions

1. Pre-Sowing

Before you start the experiment and sow the seeds, you should save few seeds per bag (save at least 1 seed if you received 3, 4 or 5 seeds per bag, or at least 2 seeds if you received 10 seeds per bag). The saved seeds are not being sowed and can be kept in the original bag. This is to guarantee a source of original seed as back-up for any unpredictability. Seeds will not be sent again, and should be multipled during the experiment.

2. Create a Sowing Plan

Create your sowing plan using the INCREASE CSA App. Please follow the instructions provided.

In order to prepare the sowing, in the field/garden or in the pot: Create a label for each seed bag (each seed bag contains seeds of an individual variety, data should be taken separately for each variety), using the INCREASE code or the coloured letter on the top left corner of the bag, e.g. A for the control variety Meccearly (send to every citizen), B for INCBN_000XYZ, etc. (please see video tutorial below). When preparing the label, please consider that weather events, like sun, rain, etc., can damage the label during the plant cycle, so please use a resistant material and marker.

Tutorial: Labelling

  • Use the bag-specific label to identify the plot/row in the field or to identify the pot.
  • Please use the specific label to identify the variety when collecting the data.
  • Seed bag = one variety = one line = from 3 to 10 seeds
  • Each citizen has received 6 different lines, from A to F.

3. Germination and Sowing

After the sowing plan is completed and the labels are ready to be used, you can proceed with the germination facilitation step, using a small glass (one glass for each variety), water and a fridge. Please note that you need one glass per variety: seeds of the same variety can be stored the same glass, but please do not mix the seeds of different varieties. Label the glasses and put the seeds inside. Add water to cover the seeds and leave the glasses with the water and the seeds of the different lines in the fridge (about 4°C) for 20-24h. Then, remove the glasses, take the seeds out off the water and put them directly on soil (field or pot), having labelled the plot and having well-watered the pot or the field soil the day before, in order to sow the seed in a humid, but not soaking, soil bed. Below you can watch a video tutorial on this step.

Tutorial: Germination

The before described step can be done if you want to promote a uniform and fast germination, but it is not mandatory. You could also plant the seeds directly into the soil, having watered the soil the day before so that it’s humid, but not soaking.

  • Days to germination: 6-10 days
  • Temperature: frost-free growing conditions (best when temperatures are stable above 15°C and no more night frosts can occur)
  • Light requirements: sun/partial sun
  • Watering: normal, but increased need during flowering and fruit set
  • Fertilizer: no extra fertilizer needed for field/garden
  • Planting depth: 2-4 cm
  • Planting distance in garden/field: 20-25 cm

Tutorial: Sowing in a field/garden

Tutorial: Sowing in a pot