Soybean cyst nematode costs U.S. soybean farmers a billion dollars a year in crop losses. The soy checkoff – according to United Soybean Board Production Program Chair Jim Schriver – has a number of projects that aim to identify the genes in a soybean plant that can effectively control SCN. He says taking advantage of the genes that control resistance would be effective for all of the different types of SCN. Recent research funded by USB and the checkoff has yielded potential breakthroughs in fighting SCN.
In a paper titled “A Soybean Cyst Nematode Resistance Gene Points to a New Mechanism of Plant Resistance to Pathogens” – scientists reveal that they identified and validated the gene at the Rhg4 locus – a major driver in a soybean plant’s resistance to SCN. This is the first study to identify the gene and its mechanism for creating resistance. One of the article’s lead authors says funding and support from USB and the soy checkoff were crucial to this discovery – which will be used to develop products that will benefit U.S. soybean farmers. The research team is hopeful their work will lead to a better understanding of how the resistant genes work – and ultimately lead to improved crop yield.
USB previously reported on a separate checkoff-funded project that found that soybean plants with multiple copies of a multi-gene block known as Rhg1 also show better resistance to SCN. Both projects allow researchers to focus on these Rhg1 and Rhg4 gene structures for development of SCN-resistant U.S. soybean varieties.
Source: NAFB News Service