Soybean Improvement for Drought, Salt and Flooding Tolerance

  • Pathan, Safiullah (Division of Plant Sciences, University of Missouri-Delta Research Center) ;
  • Nguyen, Henry T. (National Center for Soybean Biotechnology (NCSB) and Division of Plant Sciences, University of Missouri) ;
  • Sharp, Robert E. (National Center for Soybean Biotechnology (NCSB) and Division of Plant Sciences, University of Missouri) ;
  • Shannon, J. Grover (Division of Plant Sciences, University of Missouri-Delta Research Center)
  • Received : 2010.09.15
  • Published : 2010.09.30

Abstract

Drought, salinity and flooding are three important abiotic factors limiting soybean production worldwide. Irrigation, soil reclamation, and drainage systems are not generally available or economically feasible for soybean production. Therefore, productive soybean varieties with tolerance are a cost effective means for reducing yield losses due to these factors. Genetic variability for higher tolerance to drought, salt and flooding is important. However, only a small portion of nearly 200,000 world soybean accessions have been screened to find genotypes with tolerance for use in breeding programs. Evaluation for tolerance to drought, salinity and flooding is difficult due to lack of faster, cost effective, repeatable screening methods. Soybean strains with higher tolerance to the above stresses have been identified. Crosses with lines with drought, salt and flooding tolerance through conventional breeding has made a significant contribution to improving tolerance to abiotic stress in soybean. Molecular markers associated with tolerance to drought, salt and flooding will allow faster, reliable screening for these traits. Germplasm resources, genome sequence information and various genomic tools are available for soybean. Integration of genomic tools coupled with well-designed breeding strategies and effective uses of these resources will help to develop soybean varieties with higher tolerance to drought, salt and flooding.