Rust Resistance Possible

Scientists find genes that could defend soybean crop.

Published on: Mar 30, 2009

Using state-of-the-art genomics techniques, a team of scientists from the Agricultural Research Service, Iowa State University and Brazil have identified a cluster of soybean genes that provide resistance to the fungus which causes Asian Soybean Rust. They say this discovery will help defend the $27 billion U.S. soybean crop against ASR, through conventional breeding or biotechnological means.

Screening of 15,000 accessions in the ARS soybean germplasm collection revealed how uncommon resistance is: Less than 5% of the accessions are resistant. In sequencing the Rpp4 locus - researchers identified a cluster of candidate genes that confer ASR resistance.