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Iowa Soybean Research Center

in collaboration with the Iowa Soybean Association

Iowa Soybean Research Center Funds Three Iowa State Research Projects

Researchers Baum, Leandro and Tang
Iowa State University scientists Leonor Leandro, plant pathology and microbiology, Lie Tang, agricultural and biosystems engineering, and Thomas Baum, plant pathology and microbiology, whose projects have been selected for Iowa Soybean Research Center funding.

AMES, Iowa – The Iowa Soybean Research Center has awarded over $250,000 in funding to three soybean research projects at Iowa State University. The center’s Industry Advisory Council met at its annual meeting in September to discuss 22 research project ideas and offer their recommendations.

Thomas Baum, professor of plant pathology and microbiology, will receive funding for a two-year project on “Mechanisms of defense suppression by cyst nematode effectors.” Baum’s research will focus on determining how a small group of molecules called effectors that are produced by cyst nematodes suppress or inactivate plant immunity. Understanding how the effectors interfere with plant defenses may reveal strategies to strengthen natural plant defense mechanisms.

Leonor Leandro, professor of plant pathology and microbiology, will receive funding for a two-year project titled “Time of disease onset as an early indicator of soybean resistance to SDS.” Recent results in the Leandro lab with a single soybean variety suggest management practices that delay the onset of SDS disease symptoms could be most effective at protecting soybean yield. With funding from the Iowa Soybean Research Center, new research will determine if time of SDS symptom onset can be a useful measure for early screening of soybean genotypes for SDS resistance.

Lie Tang, professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering, will receive funding for a two-year project on “In-field soybean seed pod analysis on harvest stocks using 3D imaging and machine learning.” Through advancement of 3D-sensing technologies, Tang’s Agricultural Robotics lab at Iowa State University has made breakthroughs in field-based plant trait identification, or phenotyping, for maize and sorghum. With funding from the Iowa Soybean Research Center, they will work to extend those technologies and innovations into field-based soybean plant phenotyping.

“We are extremely grateful to our Industry Advisory Council for helping with the decision-making process and we would like to thank the researchers who submitted ideas for 22 deserving projects,” said ISRC Director Greg Tylka. “We are also thankful for our industry partners who help make this research possible through their funding of the center. Due to the continued support of our growing list of industry partners, the Iowa Soybean Association and Iowa State University, the ISRC recently reached a milestone in exceeding $1 million in soybean research funding since 2015.”

“In a time of decreased check-off revenues, leveraging those funds with public-private partnerships, such as with the ISRC, has become even more important in ensuring our ability to continue funding soybean research,” said Ed Anderson, senior director of research for the Iowa Soybean Association and chair of the ISRC advisory council. “It’s exciting to see the caliber and innovation of soybean research at Iowa State University, the commitment and engagement of industry partners, and how all of this will eventually benefit Iowa’s soybean farmers.”

The ISRC is a formal collaboration of Iowa soybean farmers, industry partners, the Iowa Soybean Association and Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Current industry partners include AMVAC, BASF, Bayer, Cornelius Seed, Corteva Agriscience, FMC, GDM, Merschman Seeds and Syngenta. Each industry partner has a representative who serves on the center’s advisory council. The council also has three farmer representatives and meets annually to provide feedback on what research they would like to see funded.

About the Iowa Soybean Research Center

The Iowa Soybean Research Center was established in 2014 by Iowa State University in partnership with the Iowa Soybean Association. The center was founded to increase soybean production and profitability for Iowa farmers through coordinated research efforts involving Iowa State, the Iowa Soybean Association and the private sector. Information on becoming an industry partner of the Iowa Soybean Research Center is available by contacting center director Greg Tylka, 515-294-0878 or


Kara Berg, Iowa Soybean Research Center, 515-294-8927,
Greg Tylka, Iowa Soybean Research Center, 515-294-0878,
Ed Anderson, Iowa Soybean Association, 515-334-1059,