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UoG Researcher Gets $2M to Study Soybean Genetics

By Amanda Brodhagen,

Soybean research efforts are being supported at the University of Guelph.

Nearly $2 million of government and industry support will go towards identifying genetic markers to improve soybean varieties.  The research objectives aim to provide the industry with new varieties that have desirable traits including – high yields, high protein content, disease resistance, as well as varieties that could offer certain health benefits.

Dr. Istvan Rajcan will head the research along with a 15-member team.

Rajcan was recently awarded a $500,000 Collaborative Research and Development Grant by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. The grant was matched by industry support from Grain Farmers of Ontario, SeCan Association and Huron Commodities Inc. His funding also received support from the Ontario government.

“We are intent on helping farmers in Canada get access to high-performing soybean varieties, and taking a scientific approach to doing that,” Rajcan said in a release.

Rajcan has been a professor at the University of Guelph since 1998.

Quick soybean facts:

• Soybean production in Canada has increased by 450 per cent since 1980
• In the past decade – soybeans have become Ontario’s largest cash crop
• Ontario farmers plant more than two and a half million acres’ of soybeans each year
• In 2012, Ontario’s soybean crop was worth more than $1.7 billion

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