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Identification and validation of quantitative trait loci for seed yield, oil and protein contents in two recombinant inbred line populations of soybean

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Soybean seeds contain high levels of oil and protein, and are the important sources of vegetable oil and plant protein for human consumption and livestock feed. Increased seed yield, oil and protein contents are the main objectives of soybean breeding. The objectives of this study were to identify and validate quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with seed yield, oil and protein contents in two recombinant inbred line populations, and to evaluate the consistency of QTLs across different environments, studies and genetic backgrounds. Both the mapping population (SD02-4-59 × A02-381100) and validation population (SD02-911 × SD00-1501) were phenotyped for the three traits in multiple environments. Genetic analysis indicated that oil and protein contents showed high heritabilities while yield exhibited a lower heritability in both populations. Based on a linkage map constructed previously with the mapping population and using composite interval mapping and/or interval mapping analysis, 12 QTLs for seed yield, 16 QTLs for oil content and 11 QTLs for protein content were consistently detected in multiple environments and/or the average data over all environments. Of the QTLs detected in the mapping population, five QTLs for seed yield, eight QTLs for oil content and five QTLs for protein content were confirmed in the validation population by single marker analysis in at least one environment and the average data and by ANOVA over all environments. Eight of these validated QTLs were newly identified. Compared with the other studies, seven QTLs for seed yield, eight QTLs for oil content and nine QTLs for protein content further verified the previously reported QTLs. These QTLs will be useful for breeding higher yield and better quality cultivars, and help effectively and efficiently improve yield potential and nutritional quality in soybean.

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This research was supported in part by the USDA-NIFA/CSREES Hatch project, the USB Seed Composition Research project via USDA/ARS, and the South Dakota Soybean Research & Promotion Council project. Genotyping of three GmFAD3 genes was performed by Dr. Kristin Bilyeu’s lab, USDA/ARS in Columbia, MO. Jiaoping Zhang, Siddhi Bhusal and Nicholas Hall assisted in field experiments and seed composition analysis. The parental line A02-381100 was provided by Dr. Walter Fehr, Iowa State University.

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Correspondence to Guo-Liang Jiang.

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Communicated by S. Hohmann.

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Wang, X., Jiang, G., Green, M. et al. Identification and validation of quantitative trait loci for seed yield, oil and protein contents in two recombinant inbred line populations of soybean. Mol Genet Genomics 289, 935–949 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00438-014-0865-x

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  • Soybean
  • Yield
  • Oil
  • Protein
  • Quantitative trait loci (QTLs)
  • Molecular breeding