Investigator: Istvan Rajcan
Research Institution: University of Guelph
Project Start: April 2018
Project End: March 2023
Funding for the Soybean Cluster is provided by the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada AgriScience Program through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, with industry support from the Canadian Field Crop Research Alliance (CFCRA) whose members include: Atlantic Grains Council; Producteurs de grains du Quebec; Grain Farmers of Ontario; Manitoba Corn Growers Association; Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers; Saskatchewan Pulse Growers; Prairie Oat Growers Association; SeCan; and FP Genetics.
- Develop food grade, non-genetically modified (non-GM) soybean varieties for Maturity Group 1-00, with enhanced yields; enhanced value and market opportunities; improved genetic resistance to SCN; and improved resistance to white mould.
- The development and release of highly productive and disease resistant soybean cultivars to the seed industry will allow farmers to remain competitive in the non-GM soybean global market.
- The introduction of genetic diversity to Canadian soybeans by hybridizing elite Canadian cultivars with elite Chinese cultivars will offset the danger of narrow genetic variation in Canadian soybean.
- The development of soybean cyst nematode (SCN) resistant soybean cultivars will allow farmers to combat the rapid spread and economic damages that SCN poses to soybean production in Ontario.
- The improved understanding of genetic control of soyasaponins as compounds with antioxidant and anti-cancerous attributes, naturally found in soybean seeds may lead to the development of healthy soyasaponin-enhanced soybean cultivars in the future.
- The development of special use soybeans that can replace crude oil as a feedstock used for a number of industrial uses, including but not limited to automotive industry may lead to environmentally friendly industrial oils and allow Ontario to be competitive in the bioeconomy.
This activity will develop food grade, non-GM soybean varieties with increased yields, disease resistance, and desired market traits for Maturity Group 1-00 growing regions. More specifically the new soybean varieties will have the following characteristics:
- Enhanced yield, incorporating new alleles from elite Canadian and exotic sources such as the elite and modern Chinese varieties using molecular breeding and genomic tools.
- Enhanced value and market opportunities for value-added markets including improved tofu and soymilk properties, higher sucrose content, saponin, isoflavones, and modified oil profiles for the healthy foods and bio-products markets.
- Improved genetic resistance to soybean cyst nematode (SCN) using new SCN resistance sources, beyond the common source of resistance, PI88788.
- Improved resistance to white mould using genomic approaches.
Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 barley, corn, oat, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.