Location: Plant Genetics Research
2011 Annual Report
The objective of this project is to determine the molecular genetic basis for increased high quality seed protein content in soybean seeds. We evaluated the available soybean germplasm for this project, and selected lines that had the desired characteristics of very high protein content unrelated to the current sources of high protein alleles in different breeding programs. The objective links to the in-house project "To develop the molecular basis for modification of the fatty acid components of soybean oil and anti-nutritional components in soybean meal to use in accelerated breeding programs" by exploring the relationship between protein content and quality and by exploring the molecular genetic basis for protein quality traits. The genetic basis of the high protein trait was evaluated along with protein quality for this project. Towards the goal of understanding the genetic basis of the high protein trait, we collaborated with ARS scientists in Beltsville, MD to utilize the Illumina Soy 1536 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array on our population of lines segregating for the high protein trait. We now have the complete data set of individual SNP genotypes for the entire population, and we were able to get accurate seed oil content using a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) instrument, but we have not yet conducted the experiment to determine accurate protein content (via total nitrogen measurement). We used the oil content data to select lines from our population for field growth that had segregated for the highest and lowest oil contents under the assumption that protein content would be inversely correlated with oil content.
In addition to lines described above, we obtained an independent, characterized high protein line in a maturity group (MG) III background to use to develop lines segregating for the major locus controlling high protein as well as the unknown genetic factors in our high protein line. We also selected lines with low P34 allergen and low phytate from our germplasm collection to use in this project. All lines have been planted in our field location.