Believing that indeed two heads are better than one, the United Soybean Board (USB) took the idea a step further to create the Soybean Tissue Culture and Genetic Engineering Center. The center includes scientists from the University of Kentucky, the University of Georgia, the University of Illinois and Ohio State University.

The four university soybean tissue culture-transformation laboratories were brought together to develop efficient genetic engineering systems to be shared with other university and private company soybean scientists. The center has been successful in improving soybean tissue culture and transformation efficiency and in establishing uniformly applicable protocols.

The center developed improved tissue culture and transformation protocols that have shortened the time required and improved the efficiency of moving useful foreign genes into soybeans. It has also patented two technologies. The center is ready to make the systems for gene transfer into soybeans available to U.S. soybean scientists through an application procedure with USB. Its protocols are updated regularly on its Web site (mars.cropsoil.uga.edu/homesoybean/index.htm).

(Glenn Collins, University of Kentucky)