1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
The objective of this cooperative research project is to identify soybean genes homologous to Arabidopsis genes that are important in resistance of soybean to pests and pathogens and to develop soybean plants with broad resistance diseases and pests.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
One of the major impediments to soybean growers is damage by pests and pathogens. Develop soybean with broad-spectrum resistance to a wide range of pests and pathogens using genetics and functional genomics. There is extensive knowledge of plant defense pathways leading to resistance to a multitude of pathogens, including fungi and bacteria, in the model system Arabidopsis thaliana. Using knowledge of Arabisopsis genes, we will clone homologous soybean genes encoding enzyems in the pathway leading to salicylic acid synthesis and on genes regulating salicylic acid synthesis and genes involved in the synthesis of jasmonic acid-related compounds and the regulation of that pathway. Over a multi-year period, we will determine which of these genes broaden resistance of soybeans against pests and pathogens.
Four mutants of the experimental plant Arabidopsis were transformed with soybean genes that are predicted to fix the mutant and make it normal again. Seeds of the Arabidopsis plants were collected and selected if the plant appeared to have the soybean gene present. These are referred to as ”transgenic” or geneticially modified plants. Currently, we obtained seeds from transgenic plants for the four mutants. Additional Arabidopsis mutants were ordered to test with other soybean genes that may be involved in the soybean defense response to pests and pathogens. Some of these genes may be useful to develop plants with broad resistance to numerous pathogens, which is the goal of the parent project. Conference calls and emails are used to monitor and coordinate progress with University of Maryland. We meet with collaborators at University of Maryland each month. One annual meeting is held at a conference sponsored by United Soybean Board.