Seed World

New Technology Could Halve Soybean Innovation Timeline

DuPont Pioneer introduces Accelerated Yield Technology 4.0 (AYT 4.0) — a technology that allows researchers to more than double the annual rate of genetic gain of soybean varieties in its research pipeline. The new technology will also help reduce the time it takes to bring new soybean products to market.
“This is revolutionary technology that is helping deliver higher yielding soybeans to market faster than ever before,” says Paul Stephens, DuPont Pioneer senior director for soybean research. “In my three decades of soybean variety improvement work, I have never seen rates of genetic gain as high as AYT 4.0 is producing.”
The average year-to-year yield improvement for soybeans in the United States is about half a bushel per acre. With AYT 4.0, Pioneer reports it has more than doubled the rate of genetic gain of varieties in its pipeline.
AYT 4.0 is an advanced proprietary soybean breeding approach focused on increasing yield. It uses sophisticated analytics and cutting-edge computing to evaluate millions of points of genetic data gathered across hundreds of thousands of local plots each season. By applying these results, researchers identify and advance the highest yielding varieties within the Pioneer soybean research program.
“AYT 4.0 gives us the most detailed understanding of the soybean genome we’ve ever had,” Stephens says. “Just a few years ago our researchers could only dream of applying the precise breeding activities that we are routinely doing today. It is important that we continue to push the boundaries of our science to deliver better products to our customers.”
Introduced for soybeans in 2007, the first-generation Accelerated Yield Technology system used proprietary molecular marker breeding techniques with a select group of commercial soybean varieties to enhance yield.  Today, Pioneer is deploying AYT 4.0 across its entire early-stage soybean breeding program to rapidly identify the highest yielding experimental varieties for local breeding environments. The new technology coupled with other proprietary breeding techniques has allowed Pioneer to halve product development timelines to five to seven years.
Pioneer has introduced its first commercial soybean variety, P31T11R, using AYT 4.0  and anticipates a majority of the new varieties introduced for 2017 will be products of the new enabling technology. P31T11R delivered a yield advantage of 3.8 bushels per acre compared to similar maturing varieties in Iowa. In the coming years, all new commercial Pioneer brand soybeans will be produced using AYT 4.0.