This work offers an update on the

distribution of wild common bean in Costa Rica, its ecology

and molecular characterization. To date 22 populations have

been discovered in four watersheds around the Central Valley,

usually in man-made habitats (often sides of coffee

plantations), under varying conservation status (from protected

to threatened). Molecular characterization indicates that the

wild common bean belong to the Mesoamerican gene pool.

Different markers indicate an increased genetic diversity in

some wild populations, and allow to hypothesize the presence

of gene flow and introgression from cultivated materials.

Keywords: Phaseolus vulgaris, population genetics, conservation biology, Central America, gene flow.