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(Image taken from NCSB website)

2007 - Development of new soybeans resistance to Asian rust

The National Center for Soybean Biotechnology Center (NCSB) at the University of Missouri (MU) is collaborated with Dr. Nguyen Thi Binh, Plant Pathologist at the National Plant Protection Institute (PPRI) in Hanoi, Vietnam, to identify exotic soybean germplasm for resistance to Asian soybean rust and to develop molecular methods for transferring resistant genes into elite soybeans to benefit soybean growers in Vietnam and the United States. The MU team consisted of Drs. Tri Vuong, Grover Shannon, Dave Sleper, Gary Stacey, and Henry Nguyen.

The research project was initially supported by a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture-Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA-FAS) from 2004 to 2007. Through this project, over 100 soybean breeding lines from Missouri along with local Vietnamese soybean lines were evaluated at the PPRI soybean nursery. Among these, several Vietnamese lines showed good resistance to rust in Vietnam as well as in the United States. MU soybean breeders have utilized these lines to cross with elite lines or cultivars for the development of productive rust resistant soybeans for Missouri.

Later, the second research project was funded by the United Soybean Board (USB) in collaboration with other U.S. universities. Through this cooperative program, MU soybean researchers developed many genetic populations in efforts towards determining and characterizing the inheritance of resistance to soybean rust. In 2007, field evaluations of these populations were performed at the PPRI and at the North Florida Research and Education Center (NFREC) in Quincy, Florida. The results of this work was anticipated to help identify genetic markers associated with rust resistance and apply them in soybean breeding programs using a marker-assisted selection approach. Moreover, the research program would provide a better understanding of the diversity of Asian soybean rust pathogens and the molecular basis of host plant interaction and resistance mechanisms.

2005 - Breeding Productive Rust Resistance Soybeans for Missouri

A cooperative program was set up by Dr. Henry T. Nguyen to conduct rust screening trials in Vietnam, where soybean rust had been a severe problem every year. The Northern and Southern University of Missouri breeding programs were able to send 100 soybean trains to Vietnam in early 2005. They were screened to natural field infestations of soybean rust. There were two major rust isolates in Vietnam and it was unknown if the same or different isolates existed in the U.S. Some Missourian soybean trains showed less rust development to the Vietnamese rust than others but results were inconclusive.

*Field plots of MU soybean breeding lines (taken April 25) planted in Vietnam for exposure and selection for response to Asian soybean rust, discovered for the first time in the U.S., and Missouri, at the end of last year’s growing season. Drs. Nguyen, Stacey, Sleper, and Shannon spent the last part of May in Vietnam evaluating these lines and forging new collaborations with Vietnamese scientists and students.*

Vietnamese soybean breeders supplied us with soybean strains with good resistance. We used these Vietnamese strains in 2005, crossed with our highest yielding lines to begin the development of productive rust resistant varieties for Missouri. The cooperative program with Vietnam would provide us the screening laboratory to select resistant breeding lines for testing and eventual release of productive varieties for Missouri within six to seven years. It was of utmost importance that rust resistance varieties for Missouri yielded as well or better than the current varieties with adaptation to various soil types and resistance to other diseases prevalent in Missouri. Only the highest yielding strains with resistance to diseases such as soybean cyst nematode, root knot nematode, phytophthora root rot, SDS and frogeye leaf spot were being used in crosses to develop rust resistant varieties for Missouri.