Start Date: Apr 01, 2011
End Date: Dec 31, 2013
High-yielding experimental lines will be developed from exotic germplasm to expand the genetic base and accelerate the rate of yield improvement of soybean production in the U.S. This breeding project will use over 150 soybean introductions and many experimental lines derived from these introductions in past USB projects. These introductions include modern Asian varieties that are unrelated to U.S. cultivars, diverse primitive varieties that predate scientific plant breeding, and wild soybean. The number of exotic lines that we are using exceeds the total number of all the ancestral lines, regardless of the size of their contribution, of all of the current varieties grown in the U.S. Our projects are located in all major soybean-growing regions of the U.S. so that new genes for increasing yield from exotic germplasm will be accessible to soybean breeders and eventually soybean farmers in every soybean-producing state. We will also be testing exotic germplasm and lines derived from exotic germplasm in the Early Planting Production System of the mid-south to select for high yield and improved germination rates in the harvested seeds. Concurrently with developing high yielding experimental lines, we are developing sets of lines (mapping populations) that will allow us to begin the process of identifying specific genes (quantitative trait loci, QTL) from exotic germplasm that can increase yield of commercial varieties and then to confirm those QTL in independent populations.