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Canadian Field Crop Genetics Improvement Cluster, Activity 7: Breeding soybeans for adaptation to environment and emerging pests and concurrent development of molecular marker selection tools: Development of soybean cyst nematode (SCN) resistant early matu

Principal Investigator

Louise O’Donoughue

Research Institution

Centre de recherche sur les grains (CÉROM)

External Funding Partners

This project is part of the $10.3 million Canadian Field Crop Genetics Improvement Cluster funded by the Canadian Field Crop Research Alliance (CFCRA) and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) through the Industry-Led Research and Development Stream of the Growing Forward 2 AgriInnovation Program. Grain Farmers of Ontario is a founding member of the CFCRA.

Project Start

April 2013

Project End

March 2018


  • Identify and validate new sources of resistances that will be resistant to the soybean cyst nematode (SCN) populations representative of the major races found in Ontario.
  • Develop breeding populations and advanced lines by performing crosses between agronomically superior early maturity lines and the best sources of SCN resistance.


  • The identification of new sources of resistance that will be effective against the soybean cyst nematode (SCN) populations which are present in Ontario.
  • The development of SCN resistant feed type soybean cultivars adapted to Canadian environments of maturity 000 to I.
  • The continued competitiveness of soybean production in Canada despite the presence of this very serious pest.

Scientific Summary

Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) is the most devastating pathogen of soybean worldwide. SCN is present in most soybean growing areas of Southern Ontario and has also recently been identified in Québec. The only effective method of control for SCN is the use of resistant cultivars combined with non-host crop rotations. Some resistant cultivars have been bred for southern regions of Ontario but very few such cultivars are available for earlier maturity regions. The same resistance source (PI 88788) has been used for over 90% of the resistant cultivars in North America and there has been a breakdown of resistance in several U.S. states and Ontario. There is an urgent need to identify new sources of resistance that will be effective against the SCN populations that are present in Ontario and Québec.

The project brings together expertise in nematology and plant breeding The project will ensure that soybean SCN research targets the development of resistant varieties adapted to Canada and that soybean production in Canada remains competitive despite the presence of this very serious pest.

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