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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Soybean/maize Germplasm, Pathology, and Genetics Research

Title: Genetic diversity and population structure of Korean and Chinese soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] accessions

item Lee, Jeong-dong
item Vuong, Tri
item Moon, H
item Yu, Ju-kyung
item Nelson, Randall
item Nguyen, Henry
item Shannon, J

Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/21/2010
Publication Date: 3/29/2011
Publication URL:
Citation: Lee, J., Vuong, T.D., Moon, H., Yu, J., Nelson, R.L., Nguyen, H.T., Shannon, J.G. 2011. Genetic diversity and population structure of Korean and Chinese soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] accessions. Crop Science. 51:1080-1088.

Interpretive Summary: U.S. soybean varieties are derived from a very limited gene pool. The effective use of additional genetic resources is a critical component of variety improvement especially in the medium to long term. The soybean was domesticated in China and soybean production began on the Korean Pennisula more than 2000 years ago. These two countries are major sources of soybean germplasm. With a selection of germplasm accessions to represent most of the geographical regions of China and Korea and the use of DNA markers distributed across all soybean chromosomes, this research showed high levels of genetic diversity in accessions from both countries. Soybean accessions from China had slightly more diversity than those from Korea. This research demonstrated that the Chinese and Korean soybean populations are genetically distinct so that each represents a unique source of germplasm for soybean improvement. These results will be of interest to scientists who conserve and utilized soybean genetic diversity.

Technical Abstract: Korean and Chinese cultivated soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] populations are major soybean gene pools. Information has been reported comparing genetic diversity between soybeans from the two countries using an unequal number of accessions and only 6 to 35 genetic markers. This study compares differences across 49 simple sequence repeat markers covering the 20 soybean chromosomes to assess genetic diversity and genetic relationships among ninety cultivated soybean accessions, each collected over a wide geographical area from Korea and China. Soybean populations from both countries had high genetic diversity indexes (H), but was higher for the Chinese population (H=0.76) than the Korean population (H=0.72). Soybean accessions collected from Central China had the highest genetic diversity value (H=0.73) compared to accessions from regions of Southern and Northern China or Northern and Southern Korea where diversity values ranged from H=0.70 to 0.71. Accessions from Korea showed less molecular variation than accessions from China. Accessions from the two Korean regions grouped closely genetically, but were grouped apart from the Chinese population. Structure and Principal Coordinate Analysis showed that gene flow occurred between the two countries; however Korean and Chinese soybean populations were genetically distinct. Therefore, soybean accessions originating from both countries represent unique gene pools for soybean improvement.

Last Modified: 08/17/2017
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