“We’ve certainly had SCN as a top priority in our genetics program, because it’s the biggest per-acre yield robber for soybeans out there,” says Scott Erickson, Syngenta soybean genetics manager. “Syngenta is doing a lot of work with molecular markers in our field tests that show us which new varieties have high tolerance for SCN, and we are now able to quickly incorporate those genetics into our breeding program for better-yielding, higher-resistance varieties.”

Syngenta is introducing 23 new soybean varieties for 2013, and most will be SCN resistant. “These 23 new varieties represent one-third of our soybean lineup and one-third of our volume of seed for next year,” Erickson says. “We are also beefing up our breeding efforts in northern climates. For example, we will have six different SCN products available in Group I maturities.”

Erickson says that Syngenta has used the leading source of resistance, PI 88788, but also has introduced a second source, Peking resistance, into its lines.

The predominant genetic source of SCN resistance in most soybean varieties is PI 88788, reports Loren Giesler, University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension plant pathologist. However, he cautions that in many areas in the United States, SCN are adapting to PI 88788 resistant varieties and overcoming the resistance.

“Yet, in most fields, this resistance source is still effective,” he adds. “Even in fields with a moderate percentage adapted to PI 88788, the resistance in this source will still help.”