We studied the morfological diversity in fruits and seeds in 38 wild populations of Phaseolus lunatus var. lunatus (lima beans) in the central valley of Costa Rica. In order to do so, measured the lenght and width of the fruits and the lenght, width and thickness of seeds. We also calculated the ratio between these traits and determined the weight of 100 seeds. In general, we found significant variation between populations for all variables. When we grouped the 38 populations into eight geographical regions within the study area, we found significant differences between regions. However, the levels of variation between populations within geographical regions was larger than that found between geographical regions. These findings suggested that there is no clear relationship between these variables and the geographical grouping established in this study. The implications of these findings for the establishment of strategies for in situ conservation of wild populations of lima beans are discussed.
Keywords: gene pool, genetic diversity, in situ conservation, leguminosae, lima beans, mesoamerica, morphological variation