James Specht, Charles E Bessey Professor of Agronomy & Horticulture, University of Nebraska, will present the Dale Smith Lecture on the topic of Improving Soybean Yield Response to Water Scarcity and Abundance. The event takes place Tuesday, November 17, 2009, 12:00-1:00 pm, 108 Plant Sciences
Speaker’s profile: Plant genetics and plant physiology have been my long-term research interests. I am a member of a national research team that developed the first soybean genetic map of 20 linkage groups. I and my collaborators have recently embarked on research aimed at exploring the possibility of “mining” favorable alleles at yield QTLs from the wild relative of soybean (Glycine soja) for use in the cultivated soybean (Glycine max). However, we have also recently identified statistically significant (positive) transgressive segregants (TS) for yield in elite x elite mating involving high-yielding northern x southern USA cultivars. Using molecular markers we plan to identify the parental, grandparental, and ancestral origin of the yield-enhancing QTL alleles that are responsible for the TS. This research is expected to provide significant insight on how breeders are able to continue to mine favorable genes.