Submitted to: Soybean Research World Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: January 20, 2004
Publication Date: February 29, 2004
Citation: Nelson, R.L. 2004. Exchanging, preserving, characterizing, and utilizing soybean germplasm in the U.S.A. Proceedings of Soybean Research World Conference. p. 631-637. Technical Abstract: Current soybean production in the U.S. was made possible by germplasm exchanges in the early part of the last century. The first soybean introductions in the U.S. were used as breeding populations from which to make selections. The concept of germplasm changed to include intentional preservation and then intentional collection. Germplasm evaluation has also evolved from the collection of minimal information for immediate use to the extensive accumulation of data that is critical for germplasm management. Germplasm utilization began with the creation of the initial genetic base from which the first commercial cultivars were derived. Incorporation of new sources of disease resistance has been a critical part of the expansion of the soybean production. In the future, fully integrating the diversity available in germplasm collections to address all aspects of cultivar improvement will be needed to address the needs of producers and consumers. The USDA has a policy of free exchange of germplasm. As ex situ collections become the only source of germplasm in future, exchange among collections will become more important. As technology allows a greater understanding and more utilization of germplasm, the challenges created by the enormous diversity available will make cooperation more critical.