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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: CEROM

Timeline: April 2013 – March 2018

Objectives:

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

Impacts:

  • Introduce new sources of resistance to SCN in earlier maturity soybean cultivars adapted to Canadian environments.
  • Develop SCN resistant soybean varieties adapted to Canada to ensure Canadian soybean production remains competitive.

Scientific Summary:

In the mid 1980’s the most devastating pest of soybean, the soybean cyst nematode (SCN), appeared in Canada. Since then, it has spread to the major growing areas of Ontario and is now found in the Ottawa valley and Québec. It is therefore only a matter of time before this problem becomes a challenge to producers in all soybean growing areas of Canada. The only efficient means of controlling this pest is through the combined use of resistant cultivars and non-host crop rotations. Though resistant cultivars have been developed for later maturity Canadian soybean growing regions, very few are available for earlier maturity groups. Furthermore, over 90% of the resistant cultivars carry a unique source of resistance which has now become ineffective against several SCN populations in the U.S. and in Ontario. There is therefore an urgent need to introduce new sources of resistance to SCN especially in earlier maturity soybean cultivars adapted to Canadian environments. Soybean has become a significant crop in Eastern Canada and soybean production is still expanding especially as cultivars are developed for new regions in Québec and Manitoba. Worldwide and particularly in the U.S.A. the single most economically devastating pest of soybean is the soybean cyst nematode. In 2005, losses due to the SCN were estimated at US$1.67B in the U.S.A. and US$20.9M in Canada. Past experience in the U.S.A has shown the risk of relying on very few resistance sources for SCN resistance. Though research on resistance to soybean resistance is active in the U.S.A., their focus has been on much later maturity sources of resistance and resistant cultivars. This project ensures that soybean SCN research targets the development of resistant varieties adapted to Canada such that soybean production in Canada remains competitive despite the presence of this very serious pest of soybean

The overall objective of the project is to breed for SCN resistant feed type soybean cultivars adapted to Canadian environments of maturity 000 to 1. To do so, we aimed to 1) identify and validate new sources of resistance that will be resistant to the SCN populations representative of the major races found in Ontario and Québec and 2) develop breeding populations and advanced lines by performing crosses between agronomically superior early maturity lines and the best sources of resistance.

In 2016-2017, we completed the validation of SCN sources of resistance against SCN populations from Ontario. We now have in hand 12 validated sources of resistance which have not been previously used in breeding programs in Canada, seven of which are effective against Hg 2 SCN populations for which the most commonly used source of resistance, PI88788, is ineffective.  The selection process from crosses performed in 2013 has been initiated and we will thus be able to use better adapted lines from these crosses as parents in the next round of crossing.

In 2017-2018, we have achieved our goal of developing breeding populations with ten of our validated sources of resistance and of initiating the process of evaluating advanced lines from these populations

Results:

New Sources:

This project has yielded beyond our expectations. We now have in hand several validated new sources of resistance to Canadian SCN populations that can be used for breeding resistant lines adapted to Canada. Crosses with most of these lines have been made and over 170 advanced F6 lines are ready for SCN resistance testing. The project also yielded populations for the development of markers for selection. One of these populations is currently the subject of a student project under Genome Canada funding and we now have identified markers for selection of one of the novel sources of resistance for use in breeding.

Additional Opportunities:

Building upon the materials developed under the current project and the markers developed under the SoyaGen project, our objective is to develop and commercialize SCN resistant varieties with validated sources of resistance using marker assisted selection. 

External Funding Partners:

This research activity was part of the Canadian Field Crop Genetics Improvement Cluster led by the Canadian Field Crop Research Alliance (CFCRA).

Funding for this project was provided in part by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Growing Forward 2 (GF2) AgriInnovation Program and in part by CFCRA members. Grain Farmers of Ontario is a founding member of the CFCRA.

Project Related Publications:

None.

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