Crop Biotech Update

Australian Vine Helps Boost Soybean Yield

April 4, 2018

A research conducted by scientists from the University of Illinois (U of I) showed that an obtrusive Australian vine (Glycine tomentella), which is a distant relative of soybean, can boost the yield of soybean. The results of the study are published in Crop Science.

"We saw yield increases of 3.5 to 7 bushels per acre..." said Randall Nelson, study author and adjunct professor from U of I.

Initially, researchers from U of I and USDA Agricultural Research Service were trying to introduce disease resistance genes from G. tomentella into soybean. Eventually, after development of thousands of experimental lines, they were able to develop a line that exhibited resistance to soybean rust. Furthermore, they also noticed a boost in the yield of the experimental lines.

"We were very surprised. To look at it, Glycine tomentella has no agronomic characteristics -- the seeds are less than a tenth the size of soybean seeds. We never expected to get high-yielding lines out of this cross," said Nelson.

Read more from the research article in Crop Science and Phys.org.