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Dorsett-morse soybean collection trip to East Asia: 50 year retrospective

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This paper is devoted to the analysis of the 4,451 soybean (Glycine max,) accessions collected by P. H. Dorsett and W. J. Morse during their plant exploration trip to east Asia 1929–1931. Until about 1950 the collection was used primarily for the development of vegetable type soybean cultivars. During this period many of the accessions were lost. Today only 945 of the original 4,451 accessions are available in the United States soybean germplasm collection. From the 1950s to the 1980s, as soybean production increased in the United States, so did plant pathogen problems. The Dorsett-Morse soybean accessions have been extremely valuable to plant pathologists and breeders as sources of resistance to certain pathogens. Individual genotypes in the collection have been used for genetic studies on morphological, physiological and biochemical traits. Due to the development and distribution of higher-yielding soybean cultivars, farmers in east Asia are no longer growing lower-yielding landraces. Although these landraces are now extinct in east Asia, many were collected by Dorsett and Morse and are preserved in the United States soybean collection. Over the years, the Dorsett-Morse collection has increased in value and will be as useful to soybean scientists in the future as it has been in its first 50 yr of existence.

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Hymowitz, T. Dorsett-morse soybean collection trip to East Asia: 50 year retrospective. Econ Bot 38, 378–388 (1984).

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