Agricultural Research Service scientists have developed a new soybean line that is effective against the most virulent soybean cyst nematode, called LY1. The nematode is the most damaging soybean pest in the United States, causing an estimated yield loss of nearly 94 million bushels in 2007. Genetic resistance has been the most effective means of controlling the pest.
JTN-5109 is the latest soybean line developed by geneticist Prakash Arelli and his team at the ARS Crop Genetics Research Unit's satellite laboratory in Jackson, Tenn. The line provided yields of 26 bushels per acre in field studies conducted in 2008. That yield is not far below the 29 bushels per acre produced by 5601T, which is a commonly used cultivar, but one susceptible to LY1.
Nematode populations are genetically variable and have adapted to reproduce on resistant soybean cultivars over time. In recent years, the LY1 nematode populations were found in Missouri, Illinois and Tennessee.