Project Details:

Utilizing Genes from the Soybean Germplasm Collection to Mitigate Drought Stress

Parent Project: Utilizing Genes from the Soybean Germplasm Collection to Mitigate Drought Stress (1820-172-0118-A)
Checkoff Organization:United Soybean Board
Categories:Sustainability, Environmental stress, Breeding & genetics
Organization Project Code:2020-172-0160
Project Year:2020
Lead Principal Investigator:Larry C Purcell (University of Arkansas)
Co-Principal Investigators:

Contributing Organizations

Funding Institutions

Information and Results

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Project Summary

Project Objectives

Project Deliverables

Progress of Work

Updated February 1, 2021:
March 15, 2020 Report
Samples from large-scale genome-wide association mapping experiments evaluating water use efficiency (C13 ratio) and nitrogen fixation (N15 natural abundance) have been processed and are in the analysis pipeline. Data from canopy wilting and canopy temperature from these same experiments have been compiled with the 2018 data for analysis, which will allow us to ascertain the predictive ability of our molecular markers for determining the phenotype of genotypes for these traits. Analysis from biparental populations have confirmed marker data from association mapping for C13 ratio and N15 ratio and identified new epistatic loci. We have begun identifying true hybrid seed from seed chips from the putative F1 seed from 2019. These hybrid seed will be planted in 2020 to combine in the same genetic background delayed canopy wilting, cool canopy temperature, high water use efficiency, and increased nitrogen fixation. Seed of nine genotypes selected for high germinability and water use efficiency have been cleaned and readied for planting at six locations these summer.

Final Project Results

Updated February 1, 2021:
Soybean sensitivity to drought stress continues to be a major yield-limiting factor. In this project, we strategically combined our understanding of crop physiology with traditional and novel genetic approaches to develop high-yielding, drought tolerant soybean lines for US soybean farmers. Our efforts target the drought tolerance related traits of canopy wilting, canopy temperature, water use efficiency, and symbiotic nitrogen fixation. Our research is continuing to investigate the specific mechanisms underpinning genotypic differences for each of these traits at both the physiological and genetic levels. Using the resources from the national soybean germplasm collection we have identified genotypes with superior characteristics for each of these four traits using field-based measurements. Using genetic approaches, we linked the specific phenotypes with regions on the soybean genome that are underpinning these traits, providing the soybean community with molecular markers that can be used in breeding programs. We have verified many of these markers using biparental populations specifically developed for our targeted traits. In our germplasm improvement efforts, we have leveraged the phenotypic data and molecular marker information to strategically combine the four favorable traits into one genetic background. We are continuing to select and advance the most agronomically promising plants resulting from thousands of offspring derived from our crosses while at the same time generating more powerful genetic resources. We already have developed advanced germplasm using selection based on agronomic characteristics, seed germinability, and water use efficiency. This year, we have conducted yield trials in 11 different environments in Mississippi, Arkansas, Arizona, and Missouri that will allow us to make decisions about germplasm release and/or further testing in USDA regional tests. By strategically targeting physiological mechanisms and combining understanding of drought tolerance traits with genetic analyses and prediction of phenotypes based on genomic information, we are generating novel, drought-tolerant germplasm that will benefit all US soybean farmers.

Benefit to Soybean Farmers

Performance Metrics

Project Years