The protection of yield can be achieved primarily by building a genetic package that combines genetic tolerance to abiotic and biotic factors. In addition to maximizing yield and protecting yield losses from biotic and abiotic factors, plant breeders must consider increasing the ‘net farm income’. An increase in grain yield due to increased input costs generally means less profitability (i.e., gross gain but less net gain). Protection of yield losses, due to a large extent to better biotic and abiotic protection in soybean cultivars, mitigates this problem. We follow a holistic breeding approach to understand the inter-connectedness between these factors with an aim to develop strategies to double the food production. We actively search and utilize resistant or tolerant soybean genotypes (from the USDA soybean collection) to develop the next generation of cultivars with the ability to fight off multiple stresses and broaden the genetic basis of resistance. We are integrating ML approaches for precise, accurate, and timely phenotyping of abiotic and biotic stress.
Components and research tools include: traditional and high-throughput phenotyping through manned and aerial systems, digital imaging, machine learning applications, genome-wide association, genome-wide prediction and selection, genotyping technologies, gene mapping, candidate gene discovery, genome editing, and expression analysis.
People: Azevedo Peixoto, Leonardo; Brungardt, Jae L; Coser, Sara; Hicks, Jennifer R; Ibore, Martha; Jones, Sarah E; Moellers, Tara C; Mamo, Teshale;Chowda Reddy, Rekalakunta; Scott, Brian W; Zhang, Jiaoping