Biotech Updates

Researchers Find New Genes in Soybean Linked to Aphid Resistance

September 5, 2018

Researchers from the University of Minnesota (UMN) and partners found new soybean genes linked to aphid resistance. The results of their investigation is published in The Plant Genome journal.

Aphid is a tiny pest of soybeans and other crops worldwide, causing billions of dollars in crop losses. Thus, discovering resistance genes is vital towards developing soybean varieties with robust aphid resistance. This is according to Aaron Lorenz from UMN's Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics. "There are very few commercially-available varieties of soybean with aphid resistance genes. Newly-identified genes can serve as backup sources of resistance if the ones currently used are no longer useful," Lorenz stressed.

The researchers used previously published research that reported genetic information on soybean varieties with an objective of finding the parts of the soybean genome that contain genes linked to aphid resistance. They scanned the soybean genome for small genetic landmarks called Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Then they tested if any of these landmarks were present more often in soybean varieties with aphid resistance. Lorenz and team discovered a number of genetic landmarks that were more common in aphid-resistant soybean varieties. Some of these landmarks were in genetic regions near aphid resistance genes, while many others were in genetic regions not previously associated with aphid resistance.

Read more from the article published in the Crop Science Society of America. The research article is available in The Plant Genome.