Served as Associate Director from 2003 to 2010
Emeritus Professor, University of Missouri, Division of Plant Sciences
Soybean genetics and breeding.
Sleper's research concentrates on development of improved high yielding soybean cultivars in maturity groups III and IV. Emphasis is placed on developing resistance to the soybean cyst nematode and Phytophthora rot. Resistance to various herbicides are also being incorporated into advanced selections. Emphasis is also placed upon identification of new sources of soybean cyst nematode resistance, studying inheritance of soybean cyst nematode resistance in these new sources, and development of improved breeding methodology for soybean cyst nematode resistance. Selection for improved seed quality is also a research objective.
Research emphasis is also placed on identification of useful molecular markers associated with resistance to the soybean cyst nematode and improved oil and protein concentrations. These molecular markers will be used in marker assisted selection (functional genomics) to develop future improved soybean germplasms and cultivars.
Soybean accession PI 438489B, introduced from China, is a newly found line giving resistance to all major races of the soybean cyst nematode. PI 438489B is genetically distant from other known resistant sources, such as Peking, PI 88788, PI 437654, and PI 90763.