Ohio Farmer, OH 08-03-07 Study Works Towards Rust-resistant Soybeans

Ohio Farmer, OH
Study Works Towards Rust-resistant Soybeans
Compiled By Staff
Researchers at Iowa State University say that information revealed in their
extensive analysis of molecular changes that occur in a plant infected by
soybean rust could lead to a soybean variety with broad-spectrum resistance.
The three-year study took place in Brazil, where Asian soybean rust is endemic.
Researchers profiled the gene expression of over 30,000 genes in each sample.
The two soybean varieties studied responded immediately to the fungus in their
gene expression activity. Then, after a lull for about two days, activity increased
again as the plants launched a second attack. That second wave appears to
have been a real resistance response, the scientists say, and it has helped them
narrow their list of "genes of interest" to only a few hundred.
A new resistant variety is still years down the road. "It's not something that can
be solved overnight, but it will work out," says ISU plant pathologist Thomas
Baum. "You have to put in the time, resources and manpower to get a grip on
the biology. And then you can start doing other approaches to control the
disease. But first we need to understand what we're trying to control."