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21 December 2022 Six decades of soybean breeding in Ontario, Canada: a tradition of innovation
Mohsen Yoosefzadeh-Najafabadi, Istvan Rajcan
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Soybean has been widely grown by Canadian farmers for more than 80 years, especially in southern Ontario. In recent decades, the Canadian growing region has expanded east and north. An average of 1% soybean yield improvement is achieved annually, thanks to efforts by public and private soybean breeding programs. However, to meet future food demands, an average 2.4% annual increase in soybean yield is required. Soybean breeders are mostly dealing with complex traits that are under control by several intrinsic and extrinsic factors, so sufficient information about past and current breeding efforts is required to modify future breeding programs accordingly. Here, we review public soybean breeding efforts over the past 25 years in southern Ontario, one of the most productive regions for Canadian soybean growers. Furthermore, we explain how recent advances could facilitate soybean breeding programs by reducing the time and cost and increasing selection accuracy in a large breeding population. Finally, we summarize future directions in three important sections, that is, multi-omics, environmental, and data-driven approaches, and provide a vision for future soybean breeding programs.

Mohsen Yoosefzadeh-Najafabadi and Istvan Rajcan "Six decades of soybean breeding in Ontario, Canada: a tradition of innovation," Canadian Journal of Plant Science 103(4), 333-352, (21 December 2022).
Received: 28 August 2022; Accepted: 15 December 2022; Published: 21 December 2022

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conventional plant breeding
data-driven approaches
soybean diseases
soybean seed quality traits
soybean yield
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