Soybeanpestatoughmatchforpl.cfm Soybean pest a tough match for plant researchers
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Soybean pest a tough match for plant researchers

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP)--Researchers looking for soybean plants to stand up against attacks from a pest that spreads throughout the Midwest are fighting an elusive target.

So far, they've been able to find a few soybean genes that make the plant resistant to aphids.

The problem is the insects are able to evolve quickly, giving them the ability to make the disease-resistant plants obsolete after a few years. Another stumbling block is that some plants that fight off aphids in one state don't have the same effect in another.

Soybean aphids come from eastern Asia and began showing up in the United States eight years ago. Farmers with highly infested fields must spray expensive chemicals to combat the insect, which sucks nutrients out of plants and stunts their production.

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Date: 12/31/08


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