Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The development of an improved soybean cultivar typically takes eight to ten years from the time a cross is made until seed is available for farm production. Creating new genetic variability through crossing among selected parents, followed by inbreeding to homogeneity usually takes two to three years. Breeding procedures used during this stage of the program include pedigree, single seed descent, backcrossing, early generation testing, and recurrent selection. Each procedure has advantages and disadvantages and a challenge to the breeder is to select and use the most efficient method to attain the objectives of the breeding program. Replicated progeny tests to identify superior segregates take four to five years and are the most expensive and time consuming aspects of the breeding program. Increasing seed through the classes of breeder, foundation, and certified seed may take an additional three years. New technologies for gene transfer and for identifying favorable genetic loci through the use o genetic markers may reduce the time required to develop new, superior cultivars.