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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Columbia, Missouri » Plant Genetics Research » Research » Research Project #437378

Research Project: Utilizing Genes from the Soybean Germplasm Collection to Mitigate Drought Stress

Location: Plant Genetics Research

Project Number: 5070-21000-040-28-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2019
End Date: Sep 30, 2020

In this research, we will evaluate the utility of previously identified molecular markers for improving drought tolerance, determine the stability of these traits across extremely different environments, and pyramid favorable genes for each trait as well as stack these traits into improved germplasm lines for release.

We intend to grow and phenotype 200 lines of an F6 recombinant inbred line (RIL) population at three field locations: 1) Stoneville, MS, 2) Pine Tree Branch Station, AR, and 3) Columbia, MO. The resulting phenotypic data will be used to identify markers associate with water use efficiency (WUE) in the RIL population. In combination with the WUE experiment, an on-going breeding program combining high WUE and high germinability (HG) will be continued Agronomically improved F6:7 breeding lines with high WUE and HG as well as breeding lines with low WUE and HG will be evaluated. Up to 10 F6:8 lines with high WUE and 10 with low WUE (all with high germination) will be used in the experiment. We will initiate irrigated and non-irrigated yield trials of these 20 lines coupled with WUE measures and seed quality traits (germination, protein, oil, etc.) in multiple locations. The best yielding, most WUE lines, will be identified for potential future release. In separate experiments, a soybean diversity panel consisting of 200 strategically selected genotypes will be grown at four locations under well-watered and rainfed conditions. All entries will be phenotyped for drought-related traits. Plasticity/stability for the traits will be assessed by two methods: 1) ‘static stability’ – the phenotypic variance of a genotype across environments and 2) ‘dynamic stability’ –the ratio of the slope of the regression for a specific genotype derived from its phenotype values in different environments and the slope of the regression for the population mean phenotype values in the different environments. From this we will gain a better understanding of the plasticity / stability of the different traits across the different locations.