Snap bean production using sunflowers as living trellises in the central high valleys of Mexico
The aim of this study was to assess growth, net assimilation rate, biomass production and pod yield in two snap bean cultivars sown in monoculture and combined with two sunflower cultivars at three localities in the State of Mexico, Mexico. The six treatments were evaluated in a 2 × 3 factorial experiment in a randomized complete block design with four replications. When F values were significant, the least significant difference test at the 5% level of significance was used. The principal component analysis was also used to study the interrelationship among the six treatments and seven variables. The results observed in the biplot indicated that the largest original variation in the data was adequately represented in the first two principal components since both accumulated 68.5%. This variability was classified into four groups: ‘Criollo’ + ‘Sunbright’ and ‘Acerado’ + ‘Victoria’ contributed to the better phenotypic expression of leaf area index, pod yield and pod length; ‘Criollo’, with best average performance for net assimilation rate, number of pods and total biomass; ‘Criollo’ + ‘Victoria’ and ‘Acerado’ + ‘Sunbright’, the former with the largest pod diameter; and ‘Acerado’, with the poorest performance in leaf area index, pod yield and pod length. Treatments ‘Criollo’ and ‘Criollo’ + ‘Sunbright’ showed the highest pod yield (7.66 and 7.70 t·ha-1, respectively), which is attributed to both, presented the highest values of leaf area index, total biomass and numbers of pods.