ROCKVILLE, Md. (DTN) -- Big things sometimes come in very small packages.
A case in point -- a single new soybean variety from Syngenta holds big promises for the industry. The variety uses a brand new source of soybean cyst nematode (SCN) resistance, called PI 89772.
That's a big deal, considering that SCN is showing widespread resistance to the most common source of resistance on the market, PI 88788. To see a map showing just how common this problem is, check out: https://www.thescncoalition.com/….
For many years, the only alternate source of SCN resistance was a handful of soybean varieties with Peking resistance. Iowa State nematologist Greg Tylka found that for 2020, only 4% of soybean varieties for Iowa growers offer Peking resistance.
That fraction will be far smaller for the new PI 89772 variety, which will only be available under two brand names, Golden Harvest GH 2329X and NK S23-G5X, at introductory volumes in 2020, with a full commercial launch planned for 2021.
But that lone variety represents 24 long years of work by soybean breeders, said Jose Aponte, a soybean breeder working as North American Market Segment Lead for Syngenta.
The trait originated in soybean germplasm from USDA, he recalled. It took decades to breed it into Syngenta's conventional soybean lines and then transition it to Roundup Ready 2 lines and ultimately into Xtend soybean lines, where it now stands.
"It's a long journey to make sure you have all the agronomic packages you need, plus the yield," Aponte explained. The new variety currently also carries good tolerance to SDS, white mold and Phytophthora, he said.
And with herbicide-trait platforms evolving ever faster, that journey is still ongoing, as soybean breeders at Syngenta are now working to transition the trait into next-generation lines such as XtendFlex and Enlist E3.
The fight to get PI 89772 into high-yielding soybean germplasm is not a new one. Soybean breeders had to battle the same hurdles with Peking resistance, which is partly why that trait remains scarce to this day.
But all marathons must start with just one step. Or in this case, one new soybean variety.
Read more about Peking resistance and the slow, difficult task of bringing new SCN resistance sources to market in this DTN story here: https://www.dtnpf.com/….
Emily Unglesbee can be reached at Emily.firstname.lastname@example.org
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