Project Details:

Evaluation of South Carolina Soybean Breeding Lines in 2018

Parent Project: This is the first year of this project.
Checkoff Organization:South Carolina Soybean Board
Categories:Breeding & genetics
Organization Project Code:
Project Year:2019
Lead Principal Investigator:Benjamin Fallen (Clemson University)
Co-Principal Investigators:

Contributing Organizations

Funding Institutions

Information and Results

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Project Summary

The soybean breeding program at Clemson University is dedicated to adding value to soybeans in South Carolina. Our goal is to add value by developing varieties that are adapted to the growing conditions in our state and incorporating traits that can improve marketability of the soybeans grown in the state.

Less than 10% of farms in South Carolina (SC) are irrigated, of which less than 2% of soybean land is irrigated. Meaning developing drought tolerant soybean varieties is the most important, perhaps the only option for combating drought in SC. Since soybeans are one of the top agricultural crops in SC and each year SC is prone to drought conditions, economic loss is almost certain. Clemson University along with a team of scientists from throughout the Midwest and Southeast have come together to improve upon drought tolerance in soybean. Some of the newly developed SC breeding material for drought, tested well in both SC and North Carolina. One line in particular, SC17-DRC27, tested very well. This material is a combination of N8002, Tommy Carter’s drought tolerate line released in 2016, and some high yielding germplasm from the University of Missouri. Which, this is the first year of multi-location yield testing, so nothing concrete yet.

Seed Composition:
The objective of this project is to increase soybean value for the entire value chain, selection of soybean germplasm and identification of soybean genes controlling protein synthesis and storage along with the development of markers for those genes, provide the opportunity to create soybeans with higher protein levels and will aid in the development of commercial soybean varieties with an improved nutritional bundle. As well as identifying new sources of improved composition using the wild soybean germplasm collection. This project will not only allow us to develop more nutritional soybean varieties, but will also add value to the crop, resulting in economic gain. We plan to focus on two specific areas: increasing protein content and increasing the oleic acid content while decreasing the linolenic acid content.

Increasing Yields:
Improving yield is always the number one goal in developing soybean varieties. We focus on three main areas to increase yield: selection, adaptation and genetic stock. As mentioned above, 1,000s of yield plots are evaluated each year in the Pee Dee and in other regions throughout the state and in neighboring states. This improves upon the selections that are made each year and across multiple years. We want each variety that is released to be tried and true, no matter what growing conditions, pests or diseases occur in any given year. In addition, each year new genetic material is added to the breeding program. This includes high yielding lines from local breeding programs as well as exotic material from other countries.

Project Objectives

Project Deliverables

The ultimate deliverable(s) for this project will be variety release(s). Every year SC breeding lines are tested for various traits including those mentioned: drought, test weight, seed composition, seed quality, yield and other traits of interest. Test weight and yield are recorded from the combine. Test weight is calibrated using a Dickey John AGRI 2500, which is what the local grain elevator uses to calculate test weight. In 2018, we also purchased a Dickey-john Mini GAC 2500 to measure test weight. All lines selected for improved seed composition are screened using a Perten DA7250.

Progress of Work

Final Project Results

Updated March 19, 2020:

View uploaded report Word file

The primary goal of the soybean breeding program at Clemson University is to develop varieties for release. One of the last stages of development is to enter elite breeding lines into regional variety trials.

Please visit the SC Official Variety Test website at for more information.

Benefit to Soybean Farmers

Results from this study will be made available to SC soybean producers through reports to the SC Soybean Board, field day presentations organized by Clemson and in published results. We will be available to speak to soybean growers at any scheduled meeting of the Soybean Board or multiple Extension venues, as requested. Reports will be submitted each quarter as requested.

Performance Metrics

Over the last couple of years there has been a growing interest among SC farmers for a MG VI RR1 soybean variety. This year we tested multiple MG VI breeding lines and three lines really stood out, as described above. We hope to move forward with release of at least one of these varieties.

Most of the yield data from 2018 is still being analyzed for most of the regional testing we participate in every year, this includes our most advanced material. So, the main KPI from this project will be how well everything performed in 2018 and will perform in 2019, focusing primarily on yield. In addition, we will be evaluating additional lines for drought tolerance this summer and this will again be a multi-location study. During the first few months of 2019 we plan to submit samples for protein and oil analysis. So, the results from these laboratory tests will indicate if we are achieving our goal for higher protein and increasing oleic acid, while decreasing linolenic acid.

Project Years