Virginia State University Awarded A $1.14m Grant To Study Soybean Genetics

The research will help identify the genes responsible for increased nutritional value in soybeans and edamame and will have broad positive effects.

Virginia State University has been awarded a grant totaling more than $1.1 million to study soybean genetics. VSU Associate professor, and Agricultural Research Station plant scientist, Dr. Guo-Liang Jiang was awarded a $1.14 million grant by the National Science Foundation to study the nutritional value of soybeans and edamame and to identify the genes responsible for those key nutritional traits. Jiang is joined in his research by Dr. Qijian Song, a USDA research geneticist.

Identifying the genes responsible for increased nutritional value in soybeans and edamame will have broad positive effects:

  • Producers will harvest better-quality and higher-yield crops.
  • Consumers will receive greater nutritional value.
  • Next-generation educators and scientists will gain more advanced knowledge.
  • The general public will be better informed.
  • Governments and nonprofits improve decision-making capabilities when addressing food security issues.

Dr. Guo-Liang Jiang, associate professor at VSU, and Dr. Qijan Song, USDA research geneticist, anticipate broad benefits from soybean research. “This project will help advance an in-depth understanding of genetic control of important traits in soybeans, especially edamame, and facilitate research in related agricultural areas,” said Dr. Guo-Liang Jiang. “It will also be helpful in STEM education and benefit society as a whole.” Dr. Jiang intends to share his findings broadly for widespread impact locally, nationally, and internationally.

Virginia State University’s College of Agriculture is one of the country’s leading 1890 colleges of agriculture, natural resources, food, and life sciences.  As part of VSU’s land-grant mission, the College of Agriculture also houses the Virginia Cooperative Extension program and an Agricultural Research Station, which provide valuable resources to Virginia residents while providing practical, hands-on internship and work-study opportunities for our students.