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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Urbana, Illinois » Soybean/maize Germplasm, Pathology, and Genetics Research » Research » Research Project #438562

Research Project: Developing Low Oil Content Soybeans that Provide Enhanced Nutritional and Economic Value

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

Project Number: 5012-21000-029-020-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Apr 1, 2020
End Date: Sep 30, 2021

The primary objective of this project is to develop, evaluate and select soybean breeding lines that produce seeds containing at least 45% protein and no more than 18% oil, and with yields that are at least 75% of high-yielding soybean cultivars from the same maturity group.

The general approach would be to exploit broader genetic diversity from the USDA Soybean Germplasm Collection to produce soybean lines with a combination of high protein, low oil, and competitive yields that cannot currently be achieved by crossing elite varieties. Soybean lines that inherited 12.5 to 50% of their genes from exotic Glycine max germplasm or from wild soybean (Glycine soja) have already been developed, and several lines are known to produce seeds with a protein content >45%. These lines and others that need to be further evaluated for yield and for seed composition in different growing environments. Low oil germplasm accessions from the USDA Soybean Germplasm Collection would be identified and used to develop new breeding populations. Crosses would also be made with low oil, high protein lines to develop populations for mapping genes associated with lower oil and higher protein. Seeds of selected lines would also be analyzed to determine their fatty acid and amino acid compositions to allow selection for improved nutritional value.