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Title: Identifying and exploring significant genomic regions associated with soybean yield, seed fatty acids, protein, and oil

item SMALLWOOD, CHRISTOPHER - University Of Tennessee
item Gillman, Jason
item SAXTON, ARNOLD - University Of Tennessee
item BHANDARI, HEM - University Of Tennessee
item WADL, PHILLIP - University Of Tennessee
item FALLEN, BENJAMIN - Clemson University
item HYTEN, DAVID - University Of Nebraska
item Song, Qijian
item PANTALONE, VINCENT - University Of Tennessee

Submitted to: Journal of Crop Science and Biotechnology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/25/2017
Publication Date: 12/1/2017
Publication URL:
Citation: Smallwood, C.J., Gillman, J.D., Saxton, A.M., Bhandari, H.S., Wadl, P.A., Fallen, B.D., Hyten, D.L., Song, Q., Pantalone, V.R. 2017. Identifying and exploring significant genomic regions associated with soybean yield, seed fatty acids, protein, and oil. Journal of Crop Science and Biotechnology. 20(4):243-253.

Interpretive Summary: Soybean is a high-yielding major worldwide crop; the primary value is derived from the high-quality protein and oil present in the seed. Breeding efforts over the last half century have substantially improved seed yield per unit area, but less emphasis has gone into improving seed oil and protein quality. A genetic mapping population was developed to bridge the gap between two important cultivars developed for two distinct soybean growing geographic regions in the United States (northern vs. southern cultivars). Rigorous genetic mapping analysis with tens of thousands of genetic markers was combined with genomic resequencing of parental lines to define gene candidates associated with increased seed yield, increased oil/protein and improved oil quality. These efforts will greatly facilitate ongoing efforts to improve seed yield while boosting soybean seed value.

Technical Abstract: Soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merrill] yield and seed fatty acids, protein, and oil content are important traits for which an improved understanding of influential genomic regions would be useful. To accomplish this, a soybean population consisting of 203 F5 derived recombinant inbred lines (RILs) was developed and genotyped with 11,633 polymorphic single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Each RIL was grown in a single plot at Knoxville, TN in 2010; followed by replicated, multi-location field trials in 2013 and 2014. The data from 2010, 2013, and 2014 were analyzed together in order to detect quantitative trait loci (QTL) influencing these traits, and 32 total QTLs were detected. Four QTLs are candidates for confirmed status and one QTL is a candidate for positional confirmation. Many of the genes with amino acid changes in close proximity to the fatty acid QTLs are involved in biological processes for fatty acids and/or lipids and could be considered possible candidate genes. Similarly, genes with amino acid changes in genomic regions near yield, protein, and oil QTLs were plentiful and may contribute to the variation observed in these traits. Except for yield and stearic acid, each trait displayed pleiotropic effects with other traits in this study. Notable are the pleiotropic effects for oleic and linolenic acid on chromosomes 9, 13, 17, and 19. Overall, the findings from this research contribute new information to the genetic understanding of soybean yield and seed fatty acids, protein and oil content. This understanding will be useful in making trait improvements.