New Soybean Germplasm Line Resists InsectsBy
A new soybean germplasm line will give breeders more options for
developing insect-resistant, high-protein soybean varieties for
Known as Plant Introduction (PI) 417061, the line naturally resists
several leaf-eating insects, including velvetbean caterpillar and
soybean looper. A research geneticist with USDA's
Agricultural Research Service
identified the line among the agency's soybean germplasm collection
located at the University of Illinois, Urbana.
Insects cause more than $40 million in losses annually to U.S.
soybean producers. The velvetbean caterpillar and soybean looper are
the country's most serious soybean defoliators, with the heaviest
infestations in the southeast.
PI 417061 is not the first soybean germplasm line with insect
resistance, but it will add to the diversity of the soybean gene pool,
an advantage to soybean breeders. Other lines in the soybean
collection that demonstrate resistance to leaf-feeding insects are PI
171451, PI 227687 and PI 229358.
These lines have been used to develop at least three insect
resistant varieties: Crockett, Lamar and Lyon. Scientists at ARS'
Production Research Unit in Stoneville, Miss., say it's
important to have more than one line that demonstrates resistance,
should one line be wiped out.
Besides insect resistance, the new PI 417061 line contains 44
percent protein. The most widely used source of insect resistance, PI
229358, has only 38 percent. Soybean breeders interested in developing
insect-resistant, high-protein cultivars will now have a more
desirable parent for this purpose.
The new soybean line also grows more upright--an advantage because
plants of many of the other germplasm lines tend to fall over, making
them difficult to harvest.
Soybean breeders and researchers may obtain germplasm by contacting
Randall Nelson, soy germplasm curator, ARS
Physiology and Genetics Research Unit, located at the University
of Illinois, Urbana.
Scientific contacts: Thomas Kilen, ARS
Research Unit, Stoneville, Miss., phone (601) 686-3125, fax
and Randall Nelson, ARS
Physiology and Genetics Research Unit, University of Illinois
Dept. of Agronomy, Urbana, Ill., phone (217) 244- 4346, fax (217)