Project Number: 3607-21000-016-00
Start Date: Nov 15, 2013
End Date: Nov 14, 2018
Develop genetic resources for increasing the profitability and sustainability of the U.S. soybean crop and to make it more competitive in international markets. Stress resistant crops are extremely useful for environmentally sustainable, economically viable production and integrated pest management systems. Developing cultivars with genetic resistance to biotic stresses involves: (i) identification of new sources of resistance by screening germplasm, (ii) characterization of the resistance genes and (iii) integration of the resistance genes into desired cultivars or elite breeding lines. The USDA Soybean Germplasm Collection at Urbana, IL has nearly 20,000 soybean genotypes, most of which are poorly adapted plant introductions (PIs) from other countries. These PIs are often important sources of resistance to biotic stress. However, integration of resistance genes from PIs into adapted cultivars is often associated with yield reduction and other deleterious effects (linkage drag) due to transfer of undesirable alleles from the PIs that are tightly linked to the resistance genes. Marker assisted breeding (MAB) can be used to reduce the transfer of such undesirable alleles. In addition, MAB can reduce the time needed to transfer genes from PIs to cultivars.