ICAR-IISR Research Targets Enhancing Soybean Quality and Yield through Genetic Engineering

ICAR-Indian Institute of Soybean Research, Indore is conducting research on genome editing, a type of genetic engineering, aimed at improving soybean varieties and enhancing productivity of the crop.

ICAR, New Delhi, has granted the genome editing project for three years from March 2024 to March 2027 to IISR, Indore. The total cost of the project is more than INR 5 crore, for conducting the research, the institute will set up an advanced laboratory for genome editing.

Genome editing is a type of genetic engineering in which DNA is inserted, deleted, modified or replaced in the genome of a living organism. The research will be aimed at enhancing seed and oil yield and improving insect and pod shattering resistance in the soyabean crop to increase output.

ICAR-IISR, Indore director Dr KH Singh said, “We are working on various projects to improve soyabean yield, resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses and seed composition traits. Project on genome editing is one of them. Increase in soybean production will help in reducing edible oil import and lift farmers’ income.”

The institute has recently developed some new varieties of soyabean with better yields and resistance to various adverse weather conditions.

ICAR-IISR, Indore principal scientist (biotechnology) Dr Milind B Ratnaparkhe said, “A large number of varieties have been released in soybean. But still productivity improvement is low. Major reason for low productivity is susceptibility of soybean to various biotic and abiotic stresses. With an aim to improve productivity and quality, we have started the work on genome editing. Internationally genome editing has been applied extensively for improving various traits including oil quality.”

The institute has also collaborated with the National Agri- Food Biotechnology Institute, Mohali, Indian Institute of Technology, Indore, ICAR-National Institute of Abiotic Stress Management, Baramati and International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-arid Tropics, Hyderabad and other institutes to work on increasing soybean yield and production in the country.

Source: The Times of India