Biotech Updates

Molecular Technique Advances Soybean Rust Resistance Research

May 20, 2011

Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (Q-PCR) could revolutionize and hasten breeding for soybean rust resistance. This was forwarded by USDA-ARS scientist and University of Illinois professor of crop sciences Glen Hartman.

 "This is not a new technique," Hartman said. "But it is a new tool for use in soybean rust resistance breeding, which has typically used phenotyping or visual assessment to measure resistance. We discovered that we can perform more precise and quicker assessments using this molecular technique."

The technique can facilitate exact numeration of fungal DNA in the tissue. Visual examination to assess the resistance/susceptibility of plants to rust could always be deceiving. With the large number of plants in a breeding population which need to be evaluated, the use of Q-PCR is more precise and could save time. 

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