MANHATTAN - A new partnership between Kansas State University and The Farm Research Center, Garden City, Missouri, aims to develop a new variety of soybean.
Through the partnership, made official at a Dec. 30 signing ceremony, The Farm is providing $60,000 in grant funding to William "Bill" Schapaugh, professor of agronomy, for research on two tasks:
• Develop new maturity group 4 soybean varieties with protein and oil levels to meet sponsor criteria for commercialization for $45,000.
• Assess genetic diversity in current germplasm for amino acid profiles - specifically, methionine, threonine and lysine - for $15,000.
"Our aim with these tasks is to improve soybean varieties to better meet the needs of farmers and end-users," Schapaugh said. "The funding will allow us to develop populations to combine specific traits into high-yielding varieties and screen germplasm to identify unique and beneficial sources of new genes to use in the breeding program."
Schapaugh's research focuses on developing new varieties with unique combinations of genes that result in a soybean plant that produces a better commercial product.
The partnership has outlined two of potentially many additional tasks to improve soybean commercialization. Additional tasks might focus on priorities such as enhancing the plant's stress tolerance or its resistance to diseases and pests, Schapaugh said.