Researchers from the University of Minnesota (UMN) and partners found new
soybean genes linked to aphid resistance. The results of their investigation
is published in The Plant Genome journal.
Aphid is a tiny pest of soybeans and other crops worldwide, causing billions
of dollars in crop losses. Thus, discovering resistance genes is vital
towards developing soybean varieties with robust aphid resistance. This is
according to Aaron Lorenz from UMN's Department of Agronomy and Plant
Genetics. "There are very few commercially-available varieties of soybean
with aphid resistance genes. Newly-identified genes can serve as backup
sources of resistance if the ones currently used are no longer useful,"
The researchers used previously published research that reported genetic
information on soybean varieties with an objective of finding the parts of
the soybean genome that contain genes linked to aphid resistance. They
scanned the soybean genome for small genetic landmarks called Single
nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Then they tested if any of these landmarks
were present more often in soybean varieties with aphid resistance. Lorenz
and team discovered a number of genetic landmarks that were more common in
aphid-resistant soybean varieties. Some of these landmarks were in genetic
regions near aphid resistance genes, while many others were in genetic
regions not previously associated with aphid resistance.