New Soybean Lines Resist Drought

Research at two southern universities may lead to two new lines of drought-resistant soybeans.

Published on: Oct 25, 2006
Researchers at the University of Florida and University of Arkansas are working on two new soybean lines meant to hold up during droughts.

During a drought, the lack of water in the soil limits soybeans' ability to fix nitrogen, resulting in lower yields. The soybean checkoff-funded research aims to create plants that can better fit nitrogen despite a low amount of water in the soil.

Tom Sinclair, a University of Florida researcher, says the new varieties would improve yields with or without drought. "These lines will help increase yields even in years with no obvious drought. These genes could be a yield enhancer in most every year."

The two lines will be available to be used in seed company breeding programs. Seed companies have some reason to take interest, as the research lines yielded higher than commercial lines during tests.

Research continues on this project, which is part of a larger project with plots at five universities and several industry partners.

"What we have is good, and we hope to find lines that are even better," says Sinclair.