USDA Soybean Breeders Developing New Lines To Fight Yield Robbers

   Preliminary tests of new USDA-ARS soybean lines indicate resistance to Frogeye leaf spot and multiple races of soybean cyst nematode. The tests are being conducted at the University of Tennessee’s West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center in Jackson, Tennessee.
   The preliminary results are promising for soybean growers. Both soybean cyst nematode and Frogeye leaf spot are significant yield robbers. In Tennessee alone, it is estimated producers lose nearly 4 million bushels of soybeans annually to Frogeye leaf spot and soybean cyst nematode damage.  The new soybean lines JTN-5116, JTN-5216, JTN-5316, JTN-5416, and JTN-5516 entered into multi-state testing in 2016.
   “JTN-5116 and JTN-5216 are conventional, early Maturity Group V lines,” says Lisa Fritz, biological science technician with USDA-ARS. “Initial testing indicates these lines have resistance to Frogeye leaf spot and multiple races of soybean cyst nematode.
   “JTN-5316, JTN-5416, and JTN-5516 have a common wild parent that introduces genetic diversity to these lines. Early testing indicates broad cyst nematode resistance in all three of these lines. Their genetic diversity may help provide more durable resistance to this important pest.”
   These new lines could expand on recent successes by the USDA-ARS soybean-breeding program. In 2015, breeders released a conventional line, JTN-5110, with resistance to multiple pathogens and excellent breeding potential, averaging 61 bushels/acre over three years in the Soybean Variety Performance Tests in Tennessee. Early findings were presented at the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and Soil Science Society of America International Annual Meeting in 2014.
   “The five new soybean lines produced yields similar to JTN-5110 when tested at the West Tennessee AgResearch Center and the AgResearch Center at Milan,” says Prakash Arelli, supervisory research geneticist with USDA-ARS. “High-yielding conventional soybeans have a renewed appeal among producers thanks to lower seed costs.”
   Arelli and Fritz will present more information on these soybean lines as well as soybean lines in earlier maturity groups at the Milan No-Till Field Day on Thursday, July 28, 2016. The field day takes place at the University of Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center at Milan. A complete program can be found at
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 USDA-ARS soybean plots at the University of Tennessee West 
 Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center. Initial testing indicates these lines have resistance 
 to multiple economically significant pathogens 
 in the Mid-South.

 Photo by G. Rowsey, courtesy UTIA.

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