Staying on top of all the latest ag technology, field data and research can be overwhelming. That’s why the Soybean Research & Information Initiative, formerly the Plant Health Initiative, continually provides you with access to expert information and news about soybean pests, diseases, and agronomics. The aim of this check off-funded website is to communicate the on-going progress and current understanding coming from your active and wide-ranging U.S. soybean research programs. Please visit often!

RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS

Tue, Apr 18, 2017
Understanding Soybean Cyst Nematode HG Types and Races
by Gregory L. Tylka, Soybean Nematologist, Iowa State University

The ability of soybean cyst nematode (SCN) populations to reproduce on germplasm lines used in soybean breeding programs was originally measured by a test called the SCN race test. Since 2002, an adaptation of the test, called the HG type test, has been in use. Although 15 years have passed since the HG type test was introduced, confusion still exists about the concepts of SCN race and HG type. To help illustrate the concept of HG types, we drew a comparison between the current SCN HG type test and a hypothetical test for human food sensitivities that may provide a new perspective and make HG types more easily understood.   Read more...
Thu, Apr 6, 2017
Effect of Planting Date, Seed Treatment, and Cultivar on Sudden Death Syndrome of Soybean
by Yuba Kantel and Daren Mueller, Soybean Plant Pathologists, Iowa State University

In our regional field tests we did not find that early planting (first week of May in most locations) increased the amount of SDS that developed later in the season compared to mid-May and later plantings, nor did we find a correlation between soil temperature at planting and SDS development. The soil temperature at the early planting dates had reached 55 to 60° F., the minimum germination temperature for soybean.   Read more...
Tue, Mar 21, 2017
Delineating Optimal Soybean Maturity Groups Across the United States
by Shawn P. Conley, Soybean and Wheat Extension Specialist, University of Wisconsin

A variety is classified to a specific maturity group (MG) according to the length of period from planting to maturity. This phenological attribute is determined by photoperiod and temperature, which can dictate the most suitable MG for a particular geographical location.

Although photoperiod remains constant, climatic conditions, management practices, and soybean genetics have all changed during the past decades. With funding support from the Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board and the North Central Soybean Research Program, we re-delineated soybean MG adaptation zones across the U.S. using current soybean genetics and climate conditions.   Read more...
Wed, Mar 8, 2017
Characterization of Phytophthora Populations in the North Central Region and Assessment of Management Practices
By Anne Dorrance, Soybean Plant Pathologist, Ohio State University

Soybean diseases caused by Phytophthora sojae have been managed successfully for many years with the deployment of single resistance Rps genes as well as partial resistance. However, there are now increasing reports of soybean varieties sold with Rps genes that are no longer effective towards the regional population of P. sojae or that lack sufficient levels of partial resistance.   Read more...
Wed, Feb 22, 2017
Accelerating Soybean Yield Improvement by Utilizing Yield Genes from Soybean Wild Relatives
by Randall Nelson, USDA-ARS, University of Illinois

We crossed cultivated soybean (Glycine max) with a distant perennial relative, Glycine tomentella, and were the first to test derived lines. The best line yielded 7 bu/ac greater than the soybean parent, Dwight. We also crossed cultivated soybean with wild annual soybean (Glycine soja) and identified lines that were equal in yield to the soybean parent, seven days earlier in maturity, yet had 50% of the wild parent DNA based on analysis with DNA markers. This work indicates that very useful yield genes exist in wild relatives of cultivated soybean which are not yet being used in commercial soybean breeding today.

Last season we tested 39 lines that had G. tomentella as the female parent and thus G. tomentella cytoplasm and 28 lines with soybean as the female parent with soybean cytoplasm. Averaged over 10 locations, the best line with G. tomentella cytoplasm yielded 6.1 bu/a more than Dwight and the best line with soybean cytoplasm yielded 6.8 bu/a more than Dwight. To get such high yield increases from soybean × soybean crosses would be notable but to obtain that from backcrosses with the perennial species, G. tomentella, is extraordinary.   Read more...
Sat, Feb 4, 2017
Progress of a Genomic Selection
by Aaron Lorenz, Soybean Breeder, University of Minnesota

The aim of plant breeding has always been to link phenotype with genotype. Our selections to date are based mainly on phenotype – the yield of a soybean line over many years and locations – so we can be confident that it will perform at that level in farmers’ fields.

Because it is both necessary and expensive to generate this field data, we are putting it to maximum use by also collecting genotypic data of the lines and using it in the selection process. A powerful approach to make use of genomic information for selective breeding is through a method called genomic prediction and selection.   Read more...
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