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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Sunflower and Plant Biology Research » Research » Research Project #435159

Research Project: Enhancing Soybean for Resistance to Sclerotinia Stem Rot

Location: Sunflower and Plant Biology Research

Project Number: 3060-21220-034-009-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2018
End Date: Dec 31, 2022

The following are short-term objectives for the proposed funding: are to: to 1) continue the breeding pipeline for enhancing resistance to this disease in soybean, 2) incorporate molecular data-driven decisions towards improvement for white mold resistance, and 3) keep on evaluation of advanced breeding lines for resistance to white mold and release the best lines as varieties or parental lines.

For objectives 1, at least 10 new cross combinations will be made between white mold resistance lines and elite lines with elevated white mold resistance, which identified from our previous research. The criterions for selection of parental lines will be low DSI and low GEBV for white mold. We will also perform generational advancement for 15 breeding populations. Nine F5:6 lines will be entered in 2nd year performance test at three locations in Michigan. For objectives 2, We intend to utilize molecular data-driven decision in our breeding program to perform selection of parental lines and cross combination. Allelic profile information from our GWAS (Wen et al, 2018) will be used to choose cross combinations among the selected parental lines. Moreover, GEBV value will also be estimated for parental lines to help verify true resistance source. For objective 3, we intend to keep on-going screening and explore new accessions with elevated white mold resistance. The Sclerotinia disease nursery is a naturally infected field on our research farm with frequent heavy natural Sclerotinia infections. An irrigation system will be used to provide the wet condition to promote the disease development during the flowing period. About 15% of the lines will be selected based on their resistance to white mold, yield, and other agronomic traits. The selected lines will be re-evaluated in our disease nursery for resistance to white mold and yield under disease pressure. Five to 10 lines will be selected and tested in the Uniform Soybean Tests – Northern Region (19 locations in 10 northern US states and 1 Canadian province), for yield and other agronomic traits. The best lines will be released to the public. It is expected that releasing the best lines as germplasm or varieties will reduce the genetic vulnerability to white mold in soybean production. At same time, the elite advance line with elevated white mold resistance can be used as parental lines to develop new breeding populations in Objective 1.