Through a collaborative project, Purdue University and Dow AgroSciences researchers have discovered a novel soybean gene that provides resistance to a devastating and costly fungal disease, Phytophthora sojae.
The team of researchers screened a wide variety of soybean genetic material using a number of approaches. They pinpointed a gene called Rps11 that confers strong resistance to multiple types of Phytophthora sojae, a soil-borne pathogen that causes U.S. soybean farmers to lose approximately $250 million per year due to soybean stem and root rot.
Purdue’s Jianxin Ma, professor of agronomy, said that as more Rps resistance genes are identified, they might be stacked to enhance the strength and endurance of soybean resistance to the pathogen.
With this discovery, molecular markers can be developed to rapidly incorporate the resistance gene through traditional breeding techniques into elite soybean varieties to help protect farmers’ soybean yields against stem and root rot. Dow AgroSciences intends to make the technology broadly available to soybean farmers.
“Discovering technology to help soybean farmers tackle tough problems is at the core of this project, and our success in collaborating with Purdue on this project illustrates the power of public/private efforts to advance agriculture,” says Oswald Crasta, global genomic breeding lead, Dow AgroSciences.