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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Urbana, Illinois » Soybean/maize Germplasm, Pathology, and Genetics Research » Research » Research Project #424505

Research Project: Characterization, Management, and Utilization of Soybean Genetic Resources

Location: Soybean/maize Germplasm, Pathology, and Genetics Research

Project Number: 5012-21000-026-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Mar 1, 2013
End Date: Feb 28, 2018

1) Assess critical needs and determine gaps in various ARS Glycine sub-collections of national importance and of ARS programmatic priority, and acquire the appropriate cultivated and/or wild accessions to fill those gaps or increase numbers where necessary; 2) For all maturity groups, conduct nationally-coordinated baseline evaluations for morphological classifications, other valuable traits, or genes of interest, as well as conserve and distribute available accessions in the soybean collection; 2a) Evaluate annual accessions for basic agronomic, descriptive and seed composition traits; 2b) Conserve, regenerate, and distribute genetic resources and associated information; 3) Identify useful genomic regions in soybeans and other Glycine species or find rare alleles for selection during introgression to improve traits such as yield, nutritional quality, stress tolerance, and pest resistance; 3a) Develop genetically diverse, high yielding experimental soybean lines that can expand the genetic base of the commercially used gene pool; 3b) Transfer economically important genetic traits from Glycine soja to soybean; 3c) Characterize an alternative gene pool used for increasing U.S. soybean yield; 3d) Transfer economically important genetic traits from Glycine tomentella to soybean; and, 4) Facilitate functional evaluation of candidate genes, determine gene identity of known soybean defense-associated candidate genes, identify genes for resistance to Sclerotinia and sudden death syndrome or other diseases, and apply marker technologies to incorporate them into improved soybean lines; 4a) Use high-throughput gene expression analysis to identify candidate defense-associated genes from the germplasm collection; and, 4b) Generate transgenic Arabidopsis and soybean for functional analyses of candidate defense associated genes.

We will continue to expand the holdings of the USDA Soybean Germplasm Collection by acquiring accessions from underrepresented areas of Asia and other relevant accessions through exchange and exploration. We will collect data on descriptive and agronomic traits to facilitate the use of the Collection. High quality seeds will be maintained and distributed. We will use available breeding, genetic, and genomic tools to exploit the diversity of the Collection to increase seed yield and improved disease or pest resistance. Exotic accessions not in the commercially used gene pool will be used to develop high yielding experimental lines and populations to expand the genetic base of soybean production in the U.S. and identify new alleles from exotic germplasm that increase seed yield. Mining of gene expression data will lead to identification of candidate defense-associated genes, and the genes will be isolated by RT-PCR cDNA cloning. Candidate defense genes will be over and under expressed in Arabidopsis and/or soybean, and plants assayed for changes in disease responses.