SoyBase Follow us on Twitter @SoyBaseDatabase
Integrating Genetics and Genomics to Advance Soybean Research

Improving Biotic and Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Soybean Using Existing Genetic Diversity and Creating Novel Genetic Variation

To reduce the losses from abiotic and biotic stresses, it is necessary to discover and develop superior soybean lines that can be used to develop genetically superior commercial cultivars. We will identify the desirable genetic stocks carrying genes for tolerances to abiotic and biotic stresses and use them to develop desirable cultivars that will sustain soybean production under environmental stress conditions

Project Director:
    Madan Bhattacharyya, Iowa State University,

Co-Project Directors:
     Liang Dong, Iowa State University
     Sergio H. Lence, Iowa State University
     Mark Licht, Iowa State University
     Liang Dong, Iowa State University
     Chaoqun Lu, Iowa State University
     Fernando Miguez, Iowa State University
     Daren Mueller, Iowa State University
     Asheesh Singh, Iowa State University
     David Peters, Iowa State University
     Yumou Qiu, Iowa State University
     Martin Chilvers, Michigan State University
     Zhengdao Wang, Iowa State University
     Steve Whitham, Iowa State University
     William Schapaugh, Kansas State University
     Babu Vaillyodan, Lincoln University-Jefferson City
     Martin Chilvers, Michigan State University
     Maninder Singh, Michigan State University
     Samuel Markell, N. Dakota State University
     Shaun Casteel, Purdue University
     Darcy Telenko, Purdue University
     Jacquelyn Jackson, Tuskegee University
     Carl Bradley, University of Kentuckya
     Kiersten Wise, University of Kentucky
     Aaron Lorenz, University of Minnesota
     Bing Yang, University of Missouri-Columbia
     Donald Lee, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
     Dylan Mangel, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
     Anna Loake, USDA-ARS

The goal of this project is to develop a sustainable, climate-smart, resilient soybean production system that mitigates yield suppression through genetically improved soybean cultivars that have tolerances to three abiotic and three biotic stresses. The rationale is that we can achieve such a soybean production system by (i) identifying desirable genetic loci and variants for enhancing resilience of high-yielding soybean cultivars to abiotic and biotic stresses, (ii) educating soybean growers to improve their acceptability of environmental-stress resilient cultivars, and (iii) training the next generation of researchers to continue soybean breeding and outreach activities. This project focuses on the SAS long-term purpose to "transform the U.S. food and agricultural system to increase agricultural production while also reducing its environmental footprint."

Soybean is one of the most important food crops globally. It is a major source of both protein and oil for humans, livestock and fish. In addition, its industrial usages include soy-based products and biodiesel production. In the United States, the total value of the soybean crop is $40 billion annually. Unfortunately, over 20% of the soybean yield is suppressed annually by abiotic and biotic stresses, which is expected to deteriorate due to climate change. To enhance food security in the face of population growth and changing climate conditions, we must improve the resilience of crops to environmental and biological stresses. Globally, soybean is the most important source of vegetable protein and oil, and it is increasingly important to ensure stable and sustainable production as demand rises. This project's overall goal is to improve stress tolerance in soybean to increase yields, reduce inputs, and decrease cultivation costs. The supporting objectives are to (1) identify stress tolerance genes and develop recombinant lines and cultivars carrying multiple such genes; (2) bioengineer novel alleles and genes governing stress tolerance; (3) deploy a phenomics platform incorporating new field-validated plant and soil water sensors and commercial imaging sensors to study the physiology of drought tolerance; (4) conduct ecological, economic, and social assessments of genetically improved lines; (5) educate grade 6-12 teachers and students and provide teachers and undergraduates with summer research experiences; and (6) conduct outreach to stakeholders on genetically improved lines. This project applies an integrated and transdisciplinary approach to the development of novel soybean germplasm, identifies molecular markers for breeding soybean with enhanced environmental stress tolerance and disease resistance, increases awareness of stakeholders, and educates the next generation of scientists who will contribute to the long-term goal of this project: to develop a sustainable, climate-smart, resilient soybean production system that mitigates yield suppression from environmental stresses through genetically improved soybean cultivars that have tolerances to three abiotic and three biotic stresses.

    Click here to download a sample Soybean Science Institute (SSI) lesson plan.
    Click here to download the Tables containing 536 Lines selected for this project.

Funded by the USDA-ARS. Developed by the USDA-ARS SoyBase and Legume Clade Database group at the Iowa State University, Ames, IA
Iowa State University Logo