Project Details:

Breeding of Glyphosate-Resistant Soybean Cultivars (2020)

Parent Project: Breeding of glyphosate resistant soybean cultivars
Checkoff Organization:North Dakota Soybean Council
Categories:Breeding & genetics, Economics, Crop management systems
Organization Project Code:QSSB
Project Year:2020
Lead Principal Investigator:Ted Helms (North Dakota State University)
Co-Principal Investigators:

Contributing Organizations

Funding Institutions

Information and Results

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Project Summary

This project will significantly reduce seed costs to soybean growers. In January of 2018, ND18008GT was released for multiplication by Certified Seed Growers. This is the second glyphosate-resistant cultivar successfully developed by NDSU. NDSU has a very large breeding program devoted to development of glyphosate-resistant cultivars. Monsanto has stated that starting in 2015 growers will be able to save their own seed for planting the following year. However, the private company cultivars are also protected under a Variety Patent. Cultivars developed at NDSU are not patented. The cost savings for growers that purchase glyphosate-resistant cultivars developed by NDSU will occur the second and subsequent years after the initial purchase of the seed. There are glyphosate-resistant experimental lines in the
NDSU breeding program that are being tested in a range of maturity that varies from a 1.0 to a 00.7 maturity. New experimental lines are developed each year. The seed of new experimental lines will be increased in Chile, S.A. each winter to speed the development and release.

Project Objectives

The objective is to continue the process of developing glyphosate-resistant experimental lines with a goal of releasing additional cultivars developed by NDSU.

Project Deliverables

Growers will be able to reduce their input costs by purchasing high-yielding, very competitive, glyphosate-resistant cultivars developed at NDSU.

Progress of Work

Updated December 8, 2019:
Completed work: The crossing block was planted in the spring of 2019. Crosses were made between parents to develop new hybrids and new segregating populations of glyphosate-resistant experimental types. F2 populations were planted and later one pod was picked off of each plant in these populations. The resulting F3 populations were sent to Chile, S.A. to speed up the breeding process. F4 populations were harvested and are currently being single-plant threshed to develop new plant-rows for the 2020 growing season. In the 2019 growing season, 3,807 glyphosate-resistant plant-rows were planted and evaluated for maturity and lodging resistance. Approximately, 200 of these plant-rows were selected. Seed of these 200 plant-rows are currently being packaged for the first year of replicated yield tests in the 2020 growing season. In 2019, 88 glyphosate-resistant experimental lines were selected and evaluated for yield in the second year of testing at five locations with two replicates per location. In 2019, seventeen glyphosate-resistant lines were tested for either the third or fourth year at multiple locations for yield and agronomic traits. Pure seed of ND16-11836GT was sent to the Chile, S.A. winter nursery for seed increase. Approximately 40 bushels of breeder seed of ND16-11836GT will be available for planting as Foundation Seed in the 2020 growing season. Contingent on 2020 data, ND16-11836GT could be released as a named cultivar in January of 2021. The rationale for release would be that seed costs are reduced for those growers that choose to plant ND16-11836GT, especially in the second year when growers are able to save their own seed without paying a technology fee.

Preliminary results: The yield results in replicated variety trials of ND17009GT were disappointing when compared to private company RR2 and Xtend varieties. ND16-11836GT is a glyphosate-resistant line with lodging resistance and moderate tolerance to iron-deficiency chlorosis. Based on a two-year average, ND16-11836GT has equal yield to RR2 private company cultivars of similar maturity. ND16-11836GT is a 0.7 relative maturity soybean experimental line.

Work to be completed: Seed is being packaged for the 2020 growing season and data is being analyzed. The data will have to be summarized across multiple years of testing to decide which if any experimental lines are worthy of further testing and possible pre-release. Seed will be planted in the spring of 2020.

Final Project Results

Updated June 24, 2020:

View uploaded report Word file

July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020 Annual Report: Breeding of Glyphosate-Resistant Soybean Cultivars
Principal Investigator: Dr. Ted Helms, Department of Plant Sciences, North Dakota State University – Cooperating Scientists: Dr. Berlin Nelson, Department of Plant Pathology, North Dakota State University

Growers would like to purchase glyphosate-resistant soybean varieties and be able to save their own seed for planting the next year. These varieties need to high-yielding, lodging-resistant, tolerant to iron-deficiency chlorosis (IDC), and have good disease and pest resistance. Soybean varieties are protected by a patent on the glyphosate-resistant gene (construct) and often protected by a second patent on the variety. Monsanto has provided a website to explain these issues ( The purpose of this research is to provide superior glyphosate-resistant varieties that have been developed by North Dakota State University (NDSU). At this time, one glyphosate-resistant soybean variety that was developed by NDSU is available to growers, which is named ND17009GT. ND17009GT is a 00.9 maturity cultivar.
Glyphosate-resistant experimental lines have been developed by the NDSU Soybean Breeding Project. Crosses were initiated in the summer of 2010 and new crosses have been initiated in every subsequent year. As part of the continuing process of developing new lines, 3,807 plant-rows were planted in the spring of 2019. In the fall of 2019, 438 glyphosate-resistant plant rows were harvested. Fewer glyphosate-resistant plant-rows were harvested in the fall of 2019 that would normally be the case. This is because in the fall of 2019, too much of our Casselton, ND nursery was flooded and our entire Prosper, ND nursery site was flooded. This explains why so few plant-rows were selected for testing for yield in replicated plots during the 2020 growing season. In the 2019 growing season, the first year of replicated yield testing was conducted for 1440 new glyphosate-resistant, experimental lines. In the 2019 growing season, 88 experimental lines were tested for the second year of yield evaluation. Seventeen experimental lines were advanced to the third or fourth year of yield testing in the 2019 growing season. These advanced, experimental lines vary in maturity from a 00.7 to a 0.9 maturity.
The benefit to the North Dakota soybean industry would be to reduce the cost of soybean seed for varieties that are glyphosate-resistant. This would reduce input costs because growers could save their own seed of glyphosate-resistant soybean varieties that were developed at NDSU. They could then plant this seed without paying a technology fee. At present, farmers must purchase expensive new seed each year.

Benefit to Soybean Farmers

Monsanto has stated that starting in 2015 growers will be able to save their own seed for planting the following year. However, the private company cultivars are also protected under a Variety Patent. Varieties developed at NDSU are not patented.

Performance Metrics

Project Years