Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics


Location: Soybean Genomics & Improvement Laboratory

2013 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
The three objectives of the research are firstly, to define linkage disequilibrium and recombination rates across the soybean genome to facilitate efficient discovery of quantitative trait loci (QTL) through Association Analysis and efficient introgression of exotic germplasm, secondly, to define genome regions in cultivated soybean that are associated with domestication for the discovery of genetic variation lost through the domestication bottleneck that can be used to improve soybean and thirdly, to discover QTL and genes controlling biotic and abiotic stress resistance and quality traits in soybean and wheat, and develop DNA markers that define haplotype variation across these and previously identified regions.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) DNA markers will be discovered using high throughput genome sequence analysis in combination with the newly developed whole genome soybean sequence from the Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute. A set of 50,000 SNPs, selected from across the genome, will be identified and genetically mapped in cultivated soybean as well as in a newly created cultivated x wild soybean population. The same SNPs will be used to characterize 16,795 soybean landraces as well as a set of 96 elite soybean cultivars and 1,116 wild soybean genotypes. This will allow an assessment of linkage disequilibrium and population structure across the genomes of the landraces, elite cultivars and wild soybeans. Association Analysis will be assessed as a new approach to detect genes/QTL underlying the important trait of seed protein concentration. The high resolution genetic maps in both cultivated x cultivated and cultivated x wild soybean populations combined with QTL analysis of traits related to soybean domestication will facilitate the identification of regions in cultivated soybean which, in comparison to wild soybean, have little or no genetic variation as a result of “selective sweeps” that occurred during soybean domestication. A universal set of 1536 soybean SNPs with high rates of polymorphism and even distribution across the genome will be developed and used to discover QTL underlying a number of disease resistance and quality traits in soybean. In addition, DNA marker development in hexaploid wheat will be continued and these markers and other SSR markers previously developed in our laboratory will be used in QTL analysis for a number of important traits in hexaploid wheat.

3. Progress Report:
Progress was made in completing the analysis of the USDA Soybean Germplasm Collection with 50,000 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) DNA markers. The USDA Soybean Germplasm Collection has approximately 18,480 cultivated and 1,165 wild soybean accessions that represent a wide diversity of genetic types. Over the past four years the DNA of each accession was isolated and analyzed with 52,041 SNP DNA markers. The analysis of the resulting data indicated that 42,509 SNP DNA markers produced high quality data. The entire dataset consisting of 19,652 cultivated and wild soybean accessions analyzed with the 42,509 SNP DNA markers was submitted to SoyBase, the USDA, ARS, Soybean Genome Database. In the near future, SoyBase will make all of the genetic marker data available to soybean researchers around the world at These data will provide information for a range of analyses of soybean genetic and genome variability and for the discovery of genes impacting important traits including resistance to biotic and abiotic pests, seed composition, growth habit and seed yield. Accomplishments over the life of the project included the discovery of SNP DNA markers in soybean, common bean and wheat and the development of “genechips” for high throughput DNA marker analysis of soybean and common bean. In soybean these markers were used to create a genetic map with more than 5,800 DNA markers that was used to anchor the soybean whole genome DNA sequence to the 20 soybean chromosomes and resulted in the publication of the soybean whole genome sequence in 2010. A carefully selected set of 1536 SNP DNA markers in soybean was used to create the Universal Soy Linkage Panel 1.0 that was widely used to analyze soybean populations from breeders and geneticists around the U.S. These analyses resulted in the discovery of quantitative trait loci (QTL) i.e., genes, controlling numerous traits including resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses, seed composition, as well as traits related to plant growth and development and seed yield. One notable application of SNP marker technology in soybean was the use of Genome Wide Association Analysis (GWAS) for the detection of QTL/genes controlling seed protein and oil content. The GWAS was very successful in detecting 17 regions across the 20 soybean chromosomes containing QTL/genes controlling the level of seed protein. In the case of common bean, 3 genechips with more than 5,000 SNP markers each were used to analyze a set of more than 500 common bean accessions. A portion of these SNPs was also used to analyze a common bean genetic mapping population of 277 progeny to create a genetic map with 7,019 SNP DNA markers. In collaboration with the Dept. of Energy, Joint Genome Institute and North Dakota State Univ. the resulting genetic map has been used to anchor the common bean DNA sequence to the 11 common bean chromosomes and will soon result in the publication of the common bean whole genome sequence.

4. Accomplishments

Review Publications
Song, Q., Hyten, D., Jia, G., Quigley, C.V., Fickus, E.W., Nelson, R.L., Cregan, P.B. 2013. Development and evaluation of SoySNP50K, a high-density genotyping array for soybean. PLoS Genetics. 8(1):e54985.

Bales-Arcelo, C., Zhang, A., Liu, M., Mensah, C., Gu, C., Song, Q., Hyten, D., Cregan, P.B., Wang, D. 2013. Mapping soybean aphid resistance genes in PI 567598B. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. 126:2081-2091.

Last Modified: 10/18/2017
Footer Content Back to Top of Page