Selection of the most suitable plants has been going on for thousands of years, but it has never been so intensive as modern times. It is not so much farmers who do it today. Scientists are doing this as their main work.
Ram Singh a geneticist crossed a wild Australian plant with soybean to produce a super crop. Many soybean diseases have been stopped in their tracks. It wasn't easy though. Success came after years of research. The first attempt to "blend" wild Glycine attributes with soybean took place in 1983.
A new process which prevents hybrid seeds from becoming sterile was the key to creating the special soybean. Many back crosses with the parent plant were necessary. Ram Singh sent seeds to other scientists as he was working. Outside input from them was a great help.
Soybean is a very imported crop that feeds the world. Many products are derived from it. There is hope for the future as 26 wild species of Glycine exist. Most are disease resistant. The hormone anti-sterility treatment has opened-up the whole crop breeding field.
✴ Genetics by Ty Buchanan ✴