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Speed-Breeding System in Soybean: Integrating Off-Site Generation Advancement, Fresh Seeding, and Marker-Assisted Selection

  Yudong Fang, Liwei Wang, Enoch Sapey, Shuai Fu, Tingting Wu, Haiyan Zeng, Xuegang Sun, Shuqing Qian, Mohammad Abdul Awal Khan, Shan Yuan, Cunxiang Wu, Wensheng Hou, Shi Sun, Tianfu Han

  Frontiers in Plant Science, IF: 5.753


  Speed breeding by artificial control of photothermal conditions facilitates generation advancement but was limited in scale and cost. In this study, we demonstrated a cost-saving off-site summer nursery pattern, taking full advantage of shorter daylength and higher temperature with lower latitude compared to the origin of the soybean cultivars used in the study. This substantially reduced the generation cycles under totally natural conditions. Using this approach, two generations of soybean cultivars from Northeastern Spring Planting Region (NE) and Yellow-Huai-Hai Valleys Summer Planting Region (YHH) were successfully obtained in Beijing and Hainan, respectively, compared to one generation in origin. Fresh-seeding method was also used to further shorten the generation duration by 7–10 days, thereby allowing at least four generations per year. Using DNA markers to define haplotypes of maturity genes E1–E4, we proposed a model to predict the optimum adaptation region of the advanced generation lines. Taken together, we present a speed-breeding methodology combining off-site nursery, fresh-seeding method, and marker-assisted selection, aimed at accelerating soybean improvement.