Edition 25, 2013
Biotechnology Protects Soybean Yields

Robust Wonder Bean

  • Pest specialists: Alain Sailland and Brian Vande Berg (left to right), scientists at Bayer CropScience in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA test in the laboratory which naturally produced toxins provide in vitro resistance to pests.
  • Coveted meal: not only nematodes but also green stink bugs infest soy plants in large swarms. When threatened, they excrete an odorous pheromone.
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Pest specialists: Alain Sailland and Brian Vande Berg (left to right), scientists at Bayer CropScience in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA test in the laboratory which naturally produced toxins provide in vitro resistance to pests.

Soy is one of the world's leading staple foods, but nematodes frequently destroy high percentages of the crop. Bayer researchers are developing worm-resistant soy seed by incorporating genes from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis into the DNA of soybean plants. The plants then produce a protein that is deadly to worms.

To discover how the researchers identified the bacterial genes, read on here: