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.
Ten soybean genes representing Arabidopsis genes identified by mutation were cloned and used to complement the corresponding Arabidopsis mutants. The Arabidopsis mutants were transformed with soybean genes, and first generation seeds were collected and analyzed to identify transgenic plants. Twenty additional Arabidopsis mutants were ordered and received, so we can identify other soybean genes that may be involved in the soybean defense response. The mutants were grown and the mutation was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis. Some of these genes may be useful to develop plants with broad resistance to numerous pathogens.