Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 26, 2008
Publication Date: August 12, 2008
Citation: Carter Jr, T.E. 2008. 3000 years of breeding for drought tolerance in soybean. American Society of Agronomy Abstracts.
Plants and animals have both suffered through extreme environments over the long evolutionary history of life. Amazing adaptations such as camels and cactus have occurred. On the whole however, evolutionary adaptation to stress has been greater in plants than in animals. The simple difference between the two kingdoms is that animals can run away from stress while plants cannot. Millions of years of natural selection have produced a wealth of stress tolerant plant species now used in transgenic efforts to produce stress-tolerant crops. With millions of years of planetary evolutionary success at hand, one may ask why any sane geneticist would bother to look for stress tolerance genes/alleles within a crop species. Crop species are only 10,000 years old, not millions. The sanity (or lack of) intra-crop stress tolerance research is explored with a case study of drought tolerance in soybean.