Methods for Producing Fertile Crosses Between Wild and Domestic Soybean Species
Soybean crop is susceptible to a variety of threats including soybean cyst nematode (SCN), soybean rust, bean pod mottle virus (BPMV) and aphids. SCN is currently the largest pest of soybean and can be controlled with crop rotation or nematicides, however, crop rotation is not always successful and nematicides can be expensive and harmful to human health. Generation of a soybean that is genetically resistant to SCN (and other diseases) would avoid these complications. Unfortunately, the genetic base of soybean cultivars in the United States is narrow, leaving little room for discovery of new genes resistant to these threats. Interestingly, many wild perennial relatives of the soybean possess genes that confer resistance to the aforementioned menaces, but these wild species have been largely ignored in soybean breading programs due to difficulties concerning low crossiblity with the domestic soybean and the requirement of in vitro embryo rescues to produce F1 hybrids.
The present technology describes a method for producing fertile crosses between wild and domestic soybean species, thereby increasing the genetic pool of soybean. In addition, this method does not require genetic modification to transfer desirable genes derived from wild soybeans. Transferable genes can include, but are not limited to, those conferring resistance to SCN, soybean rust, BPMV and aphids.