SOYlution

The challenge

Soybean has long been used for both human food and livestock feed purposes. It is attractive due to its protein content and quality. The seed can be processed for multiple uses including soy-milk, cooking oil, fermented products and potential use in breweries. The soybean cake is used in processing animal feed (Mchana, 2017). Climate change reduces soybean yields. Also, nutrient scarcity in some cultivation sites in the Netherland can potentially limit soy production (Marjolein et al 2018). However, there is plenty room for improvement to improve yield and productivity of soy production. The fast, uniform growth of soybean makes it suitable for field and laboratory studies and thus a lot of information is available (Ferguson and Gresshoff 2009; Schmutz et al., 2010; Libault et al., 2010a; Severin et al., 2010; Reid et al., 2012; Hayashi et al., 2012).

The solution

So far, it is known that soybean roots establish a beneficial relationship with nitrogen-fixing bacteria to supply the required nitrogen for growth (Fergusson et al, 2012). This process begins as early as root growth development; when the young soy plant produces nodules and provide carbohydrate that supports the growth of these bacteria (Mueller 2015). When this relationship is properly established, it is estimated that the amount of free nitrogen brought into the soil through the biological fixation is equivalent to over 100 kg of urea per acre. To effectively realize this, it is necessary to enhance nitrogen fixation as well as other nutrient acquisitions through the introduction of relevant microbes to the soybean at planting, a process referred to as inoculation. Recent studies have proven that different soy cultivar can ‘recruit’ different bacterial strains, in terms of diversity and their abundance (Yan et al, 2014; Shiro et al, 2013). Consequently, these differences hold potentials to further improve soybean growth, yield and resilience. We propose a better soy cultivation practice by establishing effective symbiotic interaction between the chosen soy cultivar and bacteria rising in soy’s root nodule. We give suggestion on which cultivar is best for soy production in the Netherland and how to inoculate and nurture the plant’s growth for optimum yield and productivity. The outcome of our project is to produce: 1. Selected soybean seeds coated with a proper inoculant. 2. Good practical implementation to ensure successful nodule development in the soy plants nursery. 3. Protocol to optimize the yield of the soybeans.

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SOYlution

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Interventions that accelerate protein transition

Team info

Shassy Endah Cahyani
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Yovita Djohan
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Jerry Wungkana
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Afina Rahmani
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