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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How many distinct varieties of soybeans are there? Just the 5 or 6 we see in health food stores, supermarkets, and Asian markets? Or are there more?

Well, the U of Illinois alone has a germ plasm collection of 7,359 culitvars. That doesn't mean all 7,359 are "distinct" from each other -- some of them are going to be just a tiny bit different from others. But to give you an idea of how many "distinct" cultivars there may be thruout the world, just take a look at these 42 cultivars, from the U of Illinois' collection.
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Of course, some of the beans in the photo look very similar to other. Judging by appearance, only about 33 of the 42 culitivars look distinctly different. For example #5 looks very much like number 22. Number 6 looks very much like #18. #15 and #38.

Does that mean of the 7,359 cultivars, only 5,782 are really distinctly different from each other?
 
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