Insect-resistant traits being developed include“a second-generation aphid-tolerance trait for improved control,” says Monsanto’s Fuchs. “This year, we introduced three soybean varieties with aphid tolerance in maturity Groups 1 and 2. They also contain our Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield trait technology.

“Aphid tolerance is conferred by the native Rag1 gene, discovered by soybean plant breeders at the University of Illinois. A comprehensive approach to insect management is recommended.”

Showalter says Syngenta’s Aphid Management System (AMS) “is the first fully integrated environmental stewardship approach to aphid management.” AMS includes an aphid-resistant trait along withCruiserMaxx bean insecticide and fungicide seed treatment.

“Over the past three years AMS soybeans have demonstrated a 5.4-bu. yield advantage under severe aphid pressure,” he says. “Their sales areexpected to double in 2012 as additional varieties are added to our portfolio.”

 Iwig says Pioneer is working to deliver both aphid and SCN-resistant varieties.

University of Illinois’Diers says Ohio State University and Michigan State University have also identified unique aphid-tolerance genes, and there are now four unique Rag genes identified that can be bred into varieties.

“We know there are aphid populations that can overcome the Rag1 gene,” Diers says. “This means that it’s important to develop varieties with other aphid-tolerance genes and combinations of genes to reduced losses caused by aphids.”