Soybean growth and genetics

How might we predict traits in soybeans?
Did you know that there are many traits in soybeans that have an impact on sales and export of soybeans? One of the major ones is hilum color. What is hilum color? What is pubescence? Take a tour of the soybean to find out how these traits are inherited. See teacher background →


# Inherited traits and growth stages

Students review soybeans and their importance to Ohio, then see which traits are inherited and when these traits appear in soybean growth stages.


# Extension

Students germinate soybeans to see if the roots fluoresce.


Teacher background

Soybeans have a long history of many uses, from ballast in ships to forage for animals, from uses in paints, cleaners and other industrial products to ingredients in many food products. In Ohio and across the United States, about half of all soybeans are exported. The export market is looking for specific traits. This unit describes some of the traits in soybeans that are of interest to researchers and lays the groundwork for learning about more advanced soybean breeding for disease resistance and genetic engineering.

Cultivars are numbered in soybeans (and many other row crops). These numbers represent the genetics and growth zones of soybeans. Soybean breeders and seed companies have developed specific cultivars to grow in various regions of the country—the beans we grow in Ohio are different in maturity from the ones planted in North Dakota or North Carolina due to climate differences.

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Next gen science standards

Science and engineering practices

  • Planning and carrying out investigations
  • Analyzing and interpreting data
  • Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)
  • Engaging in argument from evidence
  • Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

Crosscutting concepts

  • Structure and function
  • Patterns
  • Cause and effect

Disciplinary core ideas/content

  • LS1A Structure and Function
  • LS1B Growth and development of organisms
  • LS1C Organization for matter and energy flow in organisms
  • LS2B Cycles of matter and energy transfer in ecosystems
  • LS4A Evidence of common ancestry and diversity
  • LS4C Adaptation

Curriculum authors