Extending their collaboration from wheat breeding, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Bayer CropScience are working to develop new soybean varieties suitable for diverse climate conditions worldwide.

NUtech Ventures, the technology commercialization arm of the university, said it signed a non-exclusive license agreement with Bayer CropScience.    NUtech declined to specify the financial arrangement.  

This collaboration focuses on UNL's soybean germplasm, the genetic material used to develop new varieties.

A goal will be to improve yield and develop new soybean traits for growers in Nebraska and elsewhere. The agreement also will provide research experience and training for graduate and undergraduate students, NUtech Ventures said.

The agreement provides money to endow a University of Nebraska Presidential Chair in soybean breeding, which will ensure long-term sustainability of soybean research at UNL, NUtech said. That chair will be held by George Graef, professor of agronomy and horticulture at UNL. 

Graef noted that support from the Nebraska Soybean Board has, for the past 25 years, provided the foundation for UNL's soybean breeding and genetics research and development program.

Nebraska ranks fifth among the states in soybean production.