David Hyten
  • Haskins Professor in Plant Genetics and Associate Professor, Soybean Genetics/Genomics

David Hyten portrait



The Hyten lab is focused on taking basic genetic and genomic discoveries in soybean and translating those discoveries into applied methods that can be used for the real-world improvement of soybean varieties. The program focuses specifically on improving agronomically important traits such as drought tolerance and response to water abundance.

As we experience climate change, making cultivars able to withstand drought and highly responsive to water abundance will be key to feeding the world. The Hyten lab is working towards understanding the underlying genetic diversity that leads to drought tolerance so that we can link genetic diversity to this agronomically important phenotype and understand how genetic diversity interacts across the diverse environments encountered across Nebraska and the rest of the United States.

To help translate that understanding into applied breeding methods, the lab also focuses on developing better methods, tools and genomic breeding strategies for utilizing that knowledge within soybean public and private breeding programs. A specific area of interest is understanding genetic recombination hotspots and coldspots and the genetic mechanisms responsible for recombination in soybean. The goal of this research will be to develop new techniques that allow breeders to manipulate recombination to incorporate essential genetic diversity into new breeding varieties while maintaining yield gains needed to meet future demands from population growth.

Through this work my research program has the goal of accelerating the rate of genetic gain within soybean to meet the long-term challenges of feeding the world, and in combating the negative effects of climate change on soybean production.

Featured Publications

Song Q, Hyten DL, Jia G, Quigley CV, Fickus EW, Nelson RL, Cregan PB. Fingerprinting Soybean Germplasm and Its Utility in Genomic Research. G3 (Bethesda). 2015 Jul 28;5(10):1999-2006. doi: 10.1534/g3.115.019000. Erratum in: G3 (Bethesda). 2016 Feb;6(2):495. PubMed PMID: 26224783; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4592982.

Schmutz J, McClean PE, Mamidi S, Wu GA, Cannon SB, Grimwood J, Jenkins J, Shu S, Song Q, Chavarro C, Torres-Torres M, Geffroy V, Moghaddam SM, Gao D, Abernathy B, Barry K, Blair M, Brick MA, Chovatia M, Gepts P, Goodstein DM, Gonzales M, Hellsten U, Hyten DL, Jia G, Kelly JD, Kudrna D, Lee R, Richard MM, Miklas PN, Osorno JM, Rodrigues J, Thareau V, Urrea CA, Wang M, Yu Y, Zhang M, Wing RA, Cregan PB, Rokhsar DS, Jackson SA. A reference genome for common bean and genome-wide analysis of dual domestications. Nat Genet. 2014 Jul;46(7):707-13. doi: 10.1038/ng.3008. Epub 2014 Jun 8. PubMed PMID: 24908249. 

Hwang EY, Song Q, Jia G, Specht JE, Hyten DL, Costa J, Cregan PB. A genome-wide association study of seed protein and oil content in soybean. BMC Genomics. 2014 Jan 2;15:1. doi: 10.1186/1471-2164-15-1. PubMed PMID: 24382143; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3890527. 

Schmutz J, Cannon SB, Schlueter J, Ma J, Mitros T, Nelson W, Hyten DL, Song Q, Thelen JJ, Cheng J, Xu D, Hellsten U, May GD, Yu Y, Sakurai T, Umezawa T, Bhattacharyya MK, Sandhu D, Valliyodan B, Lindquist E, Peto M, Grant D, Shu S, Goodstein D, Barry K, Futrell-Griggs M, Abernathy B, Du J, Tian Z, Zhu L, Gill N, Joshi T, Libault M, Sethuraman A, Zhang XC, Shinozaki K, Nguyen HT, Wing RA, Cregan P, Specht J, Grimwood J, Rokhsar D, Stacey G, Shoemaker RC, Jackson SA. Genome sequence of the palaeopolyploid soybean. Nature. 2010 Jan 14;463(7278):178-83. doi: 10.1038/nature08670. Erratum in: Nature. 2010 May 6;465(7294):120. PubMed PMID: 20075913.

Hyten DL, Song Q, Zhu Y, Choi IY, Nelson RL, Costa JM, Specht JE, Shoemaker RC, Cregan PB. Impacts of genetic bottlenecks on soybean genome diversity. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Nov 7;103(45):16666-71. Epub 2006 Oct 26. PubMed PMID: 17068128; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1624862.