Development of breeding technologies toward improved production and stable supply of upland crops

Related Research Program
Stable Food Production


Biotic stress caused by diseases and insects, and abiotic stress from salinity and drought are limiting factors, which affect stable crop production. In this project, efficient breeding technologies and superior breeding materials, which mitigate damage from these stresses, will be developed in order to maintain sustainable production of important upland crops such as soybean.

Soybean is one of the four major crops in the world, and more than half of its amount has been produced in South America in the last several years. However, soybean production is being threatened by soybean rust caused by Phakopsora pachyrhizi, which has been the most serious threat for stable soybean production along with drought since the early 2000s (Fig. 1).
In order to reduce the yield loss caused by rust, we will analyze the variability in  pathogenicity of the rust pathogens collected in the main soybean-producing countries, i.e., Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, and produce rust-resistant breeding materials toward the development of commercial soybean varieties.

In order to mediate abiotic stresses from salinity and drought, multiple tolerant breeding materials will be produced through the elucidation of salt-tolerant genes and their pyramidization in soybean (Fig. 2), and the evaluation and selection of drought-tolerant lines derived from synthetic wheat. Research on phosphorus deficiency in sorghum and logging tolerance in wheat will likewise be undertaken.

These research activities are very important for food security in Japan, where most of the soybean and wheat are imported.

Fig.1 Soybean severely infected by soybean rust before maturity

Fig.2 Yield evaluation of the near isogenic soybean lines (NIL) in the salt-affected field (Tohoku University, Japan). Left row: sensitive line, right row: tolerant line.

Laboratory manual for studies on soybean rust resistance

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