Location: Soybean and Nitrogen Fixation Research
Project Number: 6645-21220-068-28
Start Date: May 01, 2013
End Date: Dec 31, 2013
The USDA Soybean germplasm collection currently preserves ~1200 accessions of wild soybean. We will develop a core collection and mini-core collection representative of the larger collection and select 35 for intensive breeding in NC, IL, and MO. The breeding approach is novel and involves mega-scale field grow-outs and selection of adapted lines that capture the diversity of the original wild soybean parent, followed by molecular characterization of products. The narrow genetic base in US soybean is a major limitation to future yield advances for US soybean production. The greatest source of diversity, WILD SOYBEAN, remains virtually inaccessible to breeders. Recently, USDA-ARS developed a novel breeding approach for large scale transfer of diversity from wild soybean to applied breeding. Our purpose is to realize the potential of this new approach by breeding 35 representative wild soybean stocks from Asia and creating novel soybean materials for a new era in applied breeding. This project is transformative for soybean breeding and has never been attempted. After 60 years of limited success using this resource, we now expect to have most of the genetic diversity in wild soybean available for applied breeding in a span of a few years.