Enhancing soybean germplasm through biotechnology
Sustainable Production
Lead Principal Investigator:
Tom Clemente, University of Nebraska at Lincoln
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Brief Project Summary:

This research program brings together a multidisciplinary approach for the creation and evaluation of novel input and output traits in soybean. These include a gene stack combination to enhance photosynthetic capacity, and combining these photosynthesis genes with genes expressed specifically during seed development designed to increase oil percentage, while maintaining protein quality and quality. More recently, we designed and introduced into soybean genetic constructs that are expected to alter stomata counts in leaf surfaces as a unique means to improve drought tolerance in the crop. Importantly, this program translates the novel soybean created from greenhouse to field environments,...

Unique Keywords:
#breeding & genetics
Information And Results
Project Deliverables

The photosynthetic component of the program will include field trials with selected lead events that carry the transgenic alleles shown to increase photosynthesis, in both standard leaf and lanceolate leaf genetic backgrounds, under both irrigated and non-irrigated environments. Moreover, the photosynthesis genes are being stacked with genes to increase carbon flux to oil during seed development, to investigate if this approach will translate to a soybean with higher oil, without impacting protein level. This program will also characterize novel transgenic soybean events that have reduced number of stomata on their leaves for drought tolerance. The genetic approach to induce a localized cell death upon nematode infestation, through a collaborative effort with Loren Giesler’s team within our Plant Pathology Department, will continue. The unique genetic element harboring the nematode up-regulated promoter coupled with an aquaglyceroporin (AQP) gene will be monitored under field conditions, to investigate performance under both irrigated and non-irrigated conditions. In addition, this program developed a single genetic element strategy that leads to the production of a soybean oil with saturated fatty acids, approximately, 25% coupled with oleic acid over 55%. Such an oil is a semisolid at room temperature and has uses in baking applications. Support of this program will enable us to gain third year field trail and permit the production of sufficient quantities for testing in end use applications. Moreover, this program has contributed to the development of transgenic soybean events that carrying various iterations of genetic elements designed to produce interfering RNAs that target critical genes associated with the life cycle of aphids and soybean cyst nematode (SCN). In collaboration with Joe Lewis (Department of Entomology) and Bin Yu (School of Biological Sciences) and Loren Giesler (Plant Pathology) these will continue to be vetted for resistance to the insect and nematode. Lastly, in collaboration with Ed Cahoon, in Biochemistry at UNL, we are employing synthetic biology approaches to create 10 gene stacks for the development of a soybean for aquaculture.

Final Project Results

Updated November 18, 2019:

View uploaded report PDF file

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.