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IntERDISCIPLInARy tEAM CoMPEtItIon

Identifying soybeans resistant to pests and pathogens


Anne E. Dorrance, Plant Pathology Asela Wijeratne, Molecular Cellular Imaging Center Rouf Mian, Horticulture and Crop Science Leah McHale, Horticulture and Crop Science Steve St. Martin, Horticulture and Crop Science

Anne E. Dorrance

Farmers prefer to grow soybean varieties with specialty traits e.g. high protein for increased feed value or low fatty acid for higher-quality soybean oil to increase their market value. However, Ohio producers face a number of production challenges related to plant pathogens or pests. A key management strategy is to plant cultivars with resistance to these challenges. The OARDC research team has identified soybean germplasm with resistance to many of the main pathogens that attack soybeans produced in Ohio. OARDCs partnership with the U.S. Department of Agricultures Agricultural Research Service (USDAARS) soybean breeding program has identified insect-resistant soybean lines. The next challenge is to identify the genetic regions that contribute to the expression of these traits and incorporate these regions into high-yielding, adapted germplasm cost-effectively and efficiently. Markerassisted-selection is a technique in which the molecular markers associated with a trait are monitored through the breeding process to quickly identify those lines that have the genetic regions and, therefore, the trait of interest.

OARDC team provided 96 lines that were top breeding parents, new sources of resistance, or had specialty traits. This immediately gave the team access to a database of molecular markers for these lines from which molecular mapping efforts could be expedited. With this as its foundation, the team could begin to identify genetic regions associated with resistance to soybean pests and pathogens in Ohio. OARDCs Molecular and Cellular Imaging Center, together with the Ohio Biotechnology Innovation Center, had recently purchased the BeadXpress system, which enabled the research team to quickly perform millions of genetic tests. This system allows analysis of one to 384 different molecular markers in any given number of individuals. It is far less expensive than conventional methods and can be used to genotype as many as 96 individuals simultaneously. Using the BeadXpress system and the database of molecular markers, the team has analyzed a large number of molecular markers on fifteen different soybean populations, providing a total of 580,538 informative data points. Analysis is underway to identify additional molecular markers and genetic regions associated with resistance to a variety of pests and pathogens, and several have already been discovered. As a result of these new technologies, the molecular markers associated with these resistances can be integrated more quickly into high-yielding, Ohio-adapted soybean cultivars, eventually benefiting both Ohio farmers and the states economy as a whole.

Ohio producers face a number of production challenges related to plant pathogens or pests. A key management strategy is to plant cultivars with resistance to these challenges.
Shortly after this project began, the USDAARS laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, announced it would screen a panel of 1,536 molecular markers on key soybean lines. The

www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/seeds

SEEDS: The OARDC Research Enhancement Competitive Grants Program