Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/15/2017
Publication Date: 2/12/2018
Citation: Walker, D.R. 2018. Advances in disease-resistant varieties of soybean. In: Nguyen, H.T., editor. Achieving Sustainable Cultivation of Soybeans Volume 2: Diseases, pests, food and other uses. Cambridge, UK: Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing. p. 105-143.
Technical Abstract: Soybean yields worldwide are reduced by a variety of diseases that affect plant stands, seed development, and/or seed quality, but soybean breeders, pathologists, and genomicists have made considerable progress in the identification, characterization and utilization of sources of resistance genes. Many of these genes have been introgressed from plant introductions procured from the USDA Soybean Germplasm Collection. Biotechnology and innovative techniques have been used in combination with more traditional phenotype evaluation methods to investigate genetics, genomics, and mechanisms of host resistance. These advances facilitate the development of new soybean cultivars that should have broader and more durable resistance to major diseases, but continued reliance on a small number of major genes for resistance to certain pathogens is a concern. Introgression of resistance genes from unadapted germplasm sources with a reduced risk of linkage drag has become more efficient due to the identification of DNA markers tightly linked to the genes and reductions in the cost of marker-assisted selection. Advances in DNA sequencing capabilities, marker development, and in the management and accessibility of genomic data have make it possible to identify candidates for major resistance genes and have revealed fascinating and sometimes surprising insights into the structure and function of some disease resistance loci. This chapter summarizes what is currently known about resistance to some of the major diseases affecting soybean production, particularly in North America, and genes that condition resistance to those diseases.