Project Details:

Breeding for high yield, yield protection and compositional traits in soybean for Iowa farmers

Parent Project: This is the first year of this project.
Checkoff Organization:Iowa Soybean Association
Categories:Soybean diseases, Breeding & genetics
Organization Project Code:
Project Year:2015
Lead Principal Investigator:Asheesh Singh (Iowa State University)
Co-Principal Investigators:
Gustavo MacIntosh (Iowa State University)
Daren Mueller (Iowa State University)
Matthew O'Neal (Iowa State University)
Arti Singh (Iowa State University)
Gregory Tylka (Iowa State University)
Show more
Keywords: Soybean Breeding, Soybean Breeding -Composition. Soybean Breeding - Disease Resistance

Contributing Organizations

Funding Institutions

Information and Results

Click a section heading to display its contents.

Project Summary

Soybean production and profitability is impacted by the crop realizing its yield potential. There are two main components of realizing the true genetic potential: the first component is the assembly of favorable genetic combination of grain yield genes, and the second component is the protection of yield from various deterrents including pests and diseases as well as maximizing performance in a diverse set of growing and soil conditions. This program is engaged in discovering new gene/QTL that enhance yield as well as develop selection strategies that lead to higher yield.

Soybean yield losses can occur from several factors, such as soybean cyst nematode (SCN), frogeye leaf spot, charcoal rot, white mold, sudden death syndrome, soybean aphid, water stress and iron deficient chlorosis (IDC). All of these are examples of stresses that impact Iowa soybean production and therefore are important objectives for a breeding program. Due to environmental variation and direct or indirect effect on disease and pest populations, continual efforts are needed to create multiple levels of resistance against these important biotic factors in a high quality crop that meets domestic and international demands. Soybean breeding programs are attempting to stack multiple defense traits against these pests and diseases through effective utilization and incorporation of resistance genes. Finally, this team is also working on improving compositional profile of soybean. They will accomplish this by improving oil and protein, as well as by improving the fatty acid profile. Developing food grade soybean for specialty markets, which can command a premium for our farmers.

Project Objectives

1. Increase seed yield of soybean.
2. Improve disease and pest resistance and abiotic stress (IDC and resource stress).
3. Improved fatty acid composition of the oil by developing soybean varieties with < 3% linolenic and >75% oleic acid.
4. Develop high protein soybean varieties.
5. Develop large seeded soybean varieties with reduced beany flavor.
6. Develop soybean varieties with improved carbohydrate composition profile.
7. Integrate improved soybean cyst nematode and aphid resistance and study the epistatic effect of the stacked gene combinations on trait expression, as well as on other important agronomic traits.
8. Study the effectiveness of additional aphid resistance genes and its underlying biology.
9. Establish a marker-assisted selection breeding system and repository.

Project Deliverables

Specific deliverables (one year):
1. Advance the breeding population from 2014 hybridizations. Increase F1 generation in Puerto Rico, or make three-way crosses to generate F1 seed. (Progress: Achieved)
2. Grow F2 populations and make single plant selections and maturity separations. (Progress: Achieved)
3. Create new populations in 2015 summer. (Progress: Achieved)
Conventional advanced lines will be converted to a herbicide resistant cultivar through back crossing.
Cultivars will be available for commercial production and for use by private seed companies as a parental source.

Progress of Work

Final Project Results

In the breeding program, we initiated the development of new populations to meet our objectives and the F1 generation was sent to Puerto Rico for additional crossing and increase (two cycles). We increased seed of 36 populations (crosses made in Puerto Rico) and made single plant selections in 20 populations near Ames in the summer of 2015. In our attempt to improve the soybean yield, we have taken two main research approaches: 1) understand the genetic drivers of soybean yield, and 2) increase the genetic diversity of soybean germplasm to breed with novel genes/alleles. Experiments included replicated trials at 3 locations in Iowa to study elite cultivars vs plant introductions, varying maturities, growth habit (indeterminate and determinate), planting density, and row spacing (15” and 30”). Meaningful measurements were taken at critical vegetative and reproductive growth stages using multiple sensors (ground) and aerial imagery. Statistical analysis will be done in fall and spring, and we look forward to making a presentation to the soybean growers in early 2016.

To increase the diversity of soybean germplasm, we are currently testing plant introductions for their merit to use as a parent in our breeding program. We planted specialized field (and indoor) nurseries to assess the genetic worth of plant introductions for new sources of stress tolerance/resistance. We are now analyzing the data to help pick useful parents for the breeding objectives.

Benefit to Soybean Farmers

The direct benefit of this research to farmers will be the development of soybean cultivars with superior yield and production potential. Our work will lead to the development of high yielding genotypes to be released as commercial cultivars or used as parents to develop elite breeding lines for commercial application and for further breeding genetic stocks. With the answers we are developing on the interaction of genetics with cultivation practices, the ISA, ISU researchers, and extension personnel can utilize this information in their work for the benefit of the farmers. With the use of modern and sophisticated solutions of phenomics and genomics, the rate of genetic gain may be enhanced. Information on molecular basis of aphid resistance will be beneficial in developing breeding strategies for future pest protection.

Performance Metrics

We used the following performance metrics:
a. Were the objectives completely or mostly met?
Yes. See project summary, progress, and results section of this report.
b. Did the outcome of this research lead to further advancement of soybean profitability?
Yes. See project summary, progress, and results section of this report.
c. Did this project lead to successful partnerships and collaborations with the funding agency and within the research team members?
Yes. Meaningful and strategic productive partnerships were established among the PIs. Additionally, partnerships were established with the ISA on-farm network team for the 2015 funding cycle of the Soybean breeding project (Singh et al.)

Project Years