Randall Nelson, 1101 W Peabody, USDA-ARS, Urbana, IL and Ram Singh, USDA-ARS, Urbana, IL
Compared to many other crops the primary gene pool of soybean lacks genetic diversity. Wild soybean is less genetically diverse than commercially use corn inbred lines. There is no secondary gene pool for soybean, so the tertiary gene pool, perennial Glycine, is the only option
for sexual transfer of new genes. Deriving fertile progenies from such crosses has had limited success and requires extraordinary means. We have developed fertile lines from crosses between the soybean cultivar Dwight and the perennial Glycine tomentella accession PI 441001 and the
reciprocal. Among these progenies we have identified many lines that significantly exceed the yield of the soybean parent as well as lines with changes in oil and protein concentration. These lines potentially represent unique genetic diversity for improving soybean. Procedures that are successful in producing fertile progenies with one perennial species accession have not been successful with other accessions in the same species and to date we have been successful with developing fertile progenies from crosses with only one species. Perennial Glycine species
represent an enormous potential for expanding genetic diversity of soybean but much remains to be learned.