Start Date: Apr 01, 2011
End Date: Mar 31, 2012
The proposed studies will build on our observation that pod position along the main stem affects seed composition (protein:oil content) and seed quality (fatty acid composition of the oil and relative content of sulfur-containing amino acids in protein) and that these differences vary among soybean varieties. We will monitor seed fill duration (SFD) as a function of stem position in relation to seed composition. A second parallel but independent approach will be to screen the USDA Soybean Germplasm Collection to identify higher-oil germplasm that also contains adequate protein (to produce a 48% meal) and with high relative S-content. Accessions identified will be used for crosses to generate segregating populations to select genotypes that have increased seed quality. Digestibility and feed efficiency will be examined in chicken feeding experiments conducted in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Illinois.