D.A. Sleper and J.G. Shannon
Department of Agronomy, University of Missouri-Columbia

Modern biotechnology has and will continue to play a valuable role in public and private soybean breeding programs. Tools provided by biotechnology will not replace soybean breeding in the public and private sectors but rather will help provide new discoveries and improve upon the overall efficiency of soybean improvement. Public soybean breeders conduct basic plant breeding research in breeding methodology and germplasm development. In addition, public breeders are involved in edu- cating future plant breeders with the latest biotechnological advances in molecular genetics/biology and laboratory tech- niques as well as conventional plant breeding practices. The majority of variety development is conducted by private soybean breeders. Biotechnology can be used in virtually every facet of plant breeding activities by both public and private soybean breeders.

Key words: biotechnology, genetically modified organism, soybean breeding.