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CSIRO is breeding soybeans that are better suited to making soy foods such as tofu and soymilk. Soybean varieties are being bred for all soybean growing regions of Australia and Vietnam.

Soybeans are grown either with irrigation or in the coastal higher rainfall zones, but could be grown more widely if they weren’t so sensitive to water shortages.

Australia’s 20 native soybean species are not grown commercially, but are a source of genetic diversity that could potentially contain useful traits such as grain quality, disease resistance or drought tolerance. CSIRO is aiming to develop DNA markers that flag the location of potentially useful genes, which will help speed the delivery of improved varieties.

Photographer : Amy Wilson

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