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Aphid-resistant soybean varieties for Minnesota

Soybean aphid is an invasive pest of soybean that continues to cause economic damage in Minnesota.

underside of green leaves one with light greenish yellow aphids and white aphids and one without
Figure 1: Resistance genes can effectively suppress soybean aphid: Aphid-susceptible (left) and -resistant (right) soybean lines.

To prevent economic loss, producers commonly apply foliar insecticides when aphid densities reach 250 aphids per plant.

Yield loss and control costs can be significant for Upper Midwest soybean growers.

Aphid-resistant genes (Rag genes)

Using aphid-resistant soybean varieties holds promise as a more sustainable approach to soybean aphid management.

Soybean varieties that possess resistance genes, called Rag genes (Rag1, Rag2, etc.), affect colonization and population growth of soybean aphid (Figure 1).

Soybean varieties with Rag1 or Rag2 genes have significantly suppressed aphid numbers and protected yields in multiple states over multiple years. Varieties with multiple (i.e., pyramided) Rag genes can provide further protection.


Availability of aphid-resistant soybean

Commercial varieties containing Rag genes have been available since 2009, but were uncommon among early-maturity soybean varieties developed for Minnesota.

A search of seed catalogs identified several soybean varieties with aphid-resistance (Rag) genes in early-maturity groups and with other traits potentially suitable for Minnesota soybean growers (Table 1). 

Table 1. Soybean varieties carrying the Rag genes available in Minnesota as of January, 2019.

Brand names Company Relative maturity Resistance gene(s) Herbicide resistance trait Other advertised characteristics1
64G94 Rea Hybrids 0.4 Not listed Genuity RR 2 Yield IDC tolerant; SCN resistance
Viking 0.0654AT Viking Seeds 0.6 Rag1 None PRR susceptible; organic seed
Viking 0.1544AT Viking Seeds 1.5 Rag1 None IDC tolerant; SCN susceptible; organic seed
Viking 0.1955AT Viking Seeds 1.9 Rag1 None PRR tolerant; BSR susceptible; organic seed
Viking 2188AT12N Viking Seeds 2.1 Rag1 & Rag2 None SCN resistance
Viking 0.IA2113RA12 Viking Seeds 2.2 Rag1 & Rag2 None SCN resistance; organic seed
Viking 0.2188AT12NUP Viking Seeds 2.5 Rag1 & Rag2 None SCN resistance; organic seed

1PRR: Phytopthora root rot; SCN: Soybean cyst nematode; IDC: Iron deficiency chlorosis; SDS: Sudden death syndrome; BSR: Brown stem rot



Continue to scout for aphids


Anthony Hanson, Postdoctoral Associate, Entomology; Siddhi J. Bhusal, Postdoctoral Associate, Agronomy and Plant Genetics; Aaron Lorenz, Associate Professor, Agronomy and Plant Genetics and Robert Koch, Associate Professor / Extension Entomologist, Entomology

Reviewed in 2019

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