Shiny Black Pearl—Black Bean Variety

A Specialty Crop in US Markets

At a Glance

Researchers at Colorado State University have developed ‘Shiny Black Pearl’ an erect indeterminate, Bean common mosaic virus resistant, black bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) cultivar with shiny seed coat luster.

The variety is recognized as a Specialty Crop in the United States.


Shiny Black Pearl is an erect indeterminate, Bean common mosaic virus resistant, black bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) cultivar with shiny seed coat luster. Shiny Black Pearl is most similar to the variety Shiny Crow because they are the only two black bean varieties in the United States that have shiny seed coat luster. Other black bean varieties (i.e., Black Knight, Black Turtle Soup, Onyx, Raven, Shadow, Panther, Blackhawk, Blackjack, Ebony, Midnight, T-39, UI 906, UI 911, and all other US black bean varieties) possess opaque (dull) seed coat luster. The seed coat luster trait is not influenced by the environment, and therefore is stable across all environments. The shiny luster provides black bean for the commercial market that are more appealing in some markets (dry pack) and may be superior when processed for value added products such as black bean chips or canned black beans.

The shiny seed coat luster is well documented in the literature. This trait is controlled by a single dominant gene with shiny dominant to opaque. The gene has been designated Asper (Asp) by Lamprecht (1940) and single dominant gene inheritance was confirmed by Bricket al. 2000.

Seed coat luster is known to influence water uptake by black beans. Therefore, we tested water uptake among two shiny seeded and three opaque seeded black bean varieties grown in the same environment. Seed of Raven, Midnight, Shiny Crow, and T-39 were compared to Shiny Black Pearl for water uptake in a soaking test during three years of testing at Fort Collins, CO. The soak test is a valuable test to determine the speed of water uptake important for the canning industry and canning quality. The seed was produced in Fort Collins during 2005, 2007 and 2008 and evaluated at Colorado State University. Shiny Black Pearl had similar water uptake as Shiny Crow, but significantly less than Midnight, T-39, and Raven. Based on these results, Shiny Black Pearl is similar to Shiny Crow and will require longer soak time to hydrate the seed prior to cooking.


  • Shiny seed coat luster
  • IIa growth habit in all environments (upright indeterminate lacking strong guides)
  • Seed yield, days to maturity, and seed size all similar to other commercial black bean varieties
  • Resistant to bean common mosaic virus
  • Mid-season maturity and high yield potential
  • Variety is uniform and stable


  • Appealing in some specific commercial markets (dry pack)
  • May be superior when processed for value added products (such as black bean chips or canned black beans)
  • Recognized as a Specialty Crop in US markets
Last Updated: June 2021
Black bean field

Available for Licensing

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PVP: 201100048


​Mark Brick
Barry Ogg
Fred Judson

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