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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Preserving and Measuring Genetic Diversity in Soybean

Author
item Nelson, Randall

Submitted to: Soybean Research World Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 1, 1999
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Preserving and measuring genetic diversity are an essential combination for either to be most effective. Without adequate preservation, measurements of genetic diversity will be unsatisfactory and without some measurement of genetic diversity, there are no guidelines for collection and preservation. In this presentation, I will attempt to evaluate our global status on both factors and to identify some of the key issues for the future. In a practical sense, the strategy of a curator is to have a collection large enough so that the probability of having most genes is high but small enough so that the probability of duplication of genotypes is low. The International Plant Genetic Resources Institute reports that there are 125 institutions world-wide that are maintaining over 147,000 accessions of Glycine max. Eight collections hold more than half of the accessions. The level of duplication among these collections is unknown but at least one third of the total inventory could be unduplicated accessions that predate scientific plant breeding. Time is very limited to accomplish additional field collecting because where primitive varieties are still being grown they are rapidly being replaced. By almost any measure of diversity, soybean is one of the least diverse of the major crop species and breeding programs have generally exacerbated that condition. The diversity within germplasm collections is a critical resource for the future vitality of all soybean research and production. Traditionally indicators of genetic diversity have been origin, and morphological variation. The advent of molecular markers has greatly enhanced the measurement of genetic diversity. It is now possible to establish genetic relationships without pedigree information. These

Last Modified: 4/23/2014
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