Identifying key targets for soybean seed protein concentration improvement by creating a virtual soybean model
Sustainable Production
CompositionFertilizer/plant nutrientSoy protein
Parent Project:
This is the first year of this project.
Lead Principal Investigator:
Justin McGrath, USDA-ARS
Co-Principal Investigators:
Project Code:
Contributing Organization (Checkoff):
Institution Funded:
Brief Project Summary:
Our long-term goal is to develop a nitrogen model for suitable for identifying ways to improve soybean seed quality, which aligns with the USB strategic plan to improve health and nutrition of supply. With previous USB funding, we have developed a basic nitrogen model. Presently the nitrogen model is separate from the growth model and we would like to combine the models. To validate the combined models, we would like to perform an experiment that also identifies the relative roles of two causes of the observed protein concentration decline. The first cause is reduced nitrogen uptake, for example by acquiring less nitrogen from nitrogen-fixing bacteria. The second is increased carbon uptake efficiency, which would reduce protein concentration by dilution, even if nitrogen uptake remained the same. By comparing old and new cultivars, we can gain valuable data to validate the model and then use that information to determine the relative contributions of the above two causes.
Information And Results
Project Summary

Project Objectives

Project Deliverables

Progress Of Work

Final Project Results

We coupled the nitrogen assimilation model we had previously developed to our crop growth model. Previous results from the uncoupled model indicated that transfer of nitrogen from the shoot to the seeds was a key process that limited seed protein concentration. The coupled model was examined in the same manner and it's behavior reached similar conclusions. High and low protein lines were grown in the field as a means of examining physiological traits associated with seed protein concentration. Measurements were collected from these plants and used to parameterize the model. The model was able to predict growth of these lines reasonably well, although some work needs to be done to perfect predictions for the high protein line. We are awaiting nitrogen concentration analyses for these samples as those will provide more information about what traits in these plants lead to different protein concentrations.

Benefit To Soybean Farmers

Seed protein concentration is a primary determinate of soybean meal price. Increasing protein concentration while maintaining high yields will increase the value of soybean production for farmers.

The United Soybean Research Retention policy will display final reports with the project once completed but working files will be purged after three years. And financial information after seven years. All pertinent information is in the final report or if you want more information, please contact the project lead at your state soybean organization or principal investigator listed on the project.