Seed World

ASTA Members Collaborate to Publish Soybean Molecular Marker Paper

ASTA is proud to announce that a scientific paper drafted by a team of its members has been published in the Crop Science Journal. “Single nucleotide polymorphisms facilitate distinctness-uniformity-stability testing of soybean cultivars for plant variety protection” is open access and available for download on ASTA’s website.

Special thanks to the following representatives of ASTA member companies and universities who collaboratively worked over the course of five years to author the paper: Fred Achard, Marymar Butruille, Stevan Madjarac, and Paul Nelson from Bayer Crop Science; John Deusing, independent contractor from Iowa; J-L. Laffont, Barry Nelson and Jin Xiong from Corteva Agriscience; Mark A. Mikel, Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois; and J.S. C. Smith, Department of Agronomy, Iowa State University.

The team set out to establish methodologies using molecular markers to facilitate distinctness, uniformity, and stable (DUS) reproduction testing in soybean cultivars while maintaining current intellectual property protection (IPP) levels. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP), a type of molecular marker, along with morphological, physiological, and pedigree information were used to examine over 300 cultivars in this study.

Associations for SNP and pedigree kinship data were found to be very similar throughout the cultivars. In conclusion, the SNP and pedigree data suggested that DUS challenges among U.S. soybean cultivars were not caused by the lack of genetic diversity in F2 breeding populations. The team was ultimately able to maintain IPP, “level the playing field for breeders,” and potentially make the process of using molecular data more efficient without adding costs.

Initial findings were presented at the 2019 meeting of UPOV’s Working Group on Biochemical and Molecular Techniques. The group shared the research goals, process and results with the U.S. Plant Variety Protection Office through the work of the joint ASTA-U.S. PVPO Molecular Marker Working Group and Plant Variety Protection Advisory Board.

Collaborative efforts of seed science experts drive the industry forward. ASTA is proud to recognize the work of members across companies and universities. The results of their labor and investigation will be incredibly useful to the soybean seed industry for years to come.

View the full article here.