Introduction

Soybean is one of the world's most valuable crops and the U.S. is the world leader of soybean production. In 2010, the U.S. produced 35% of the world soybean crop followed by Brazil (27%) and Argentina (19%). The total U.S. soybean crop value was over $38.9 billion and U.S. exports of soybean and soya-products were over $23 billion in 2010. Soybean suffers yield suppression from various biotic stresses. In 2010, 14.4% of total yield valued $5.59 billion was suppressed from pathogenic diseases caused by microbes and nematodes. Soybean sudden death syndrome (SDS) is a major threat to soybean production in the U.S. The estimated soybean yield suppression from SDS in 2010 was 2.1% total yield valued at $0.82 billion. In certain years, SDS causes total crop losses in many soybean fields. Consequently, our stakeholders–soybean growers–are looking for SDS resistant varieties since there are no other management tools that are effective against SDS.  Increasing demand for soybeans from the food, feed, and energy sectors will require higher yields and sustainable production in the future. We will address this demand by taking advantage of recent transgenic discoveries from our laboratories that can reduce or prevent SDS.