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Molecular markers for the E2 and E3 genes controlling flowering and maturity in soybean

Shin, Jin Hee, Lee, Suk-Ha
Molecular breeding 2012 v.30 no.4 pp. 1793-1798
DNA, Glycine max, alleles, cultivars, early development, flowering, gel electrophoresis, genetic markers, genotype, isogenic lines, loci, marker-assisted selection, nonsense mutation, phenotype, photoreceptors, polymerase chain reaction, quantitative trait loci, soybeans
Natural variation in flowering time may play a role in the adaptation of plants to various environments, and understanding the genetic basis of flowering and maturity would facilitate the development of early maturing cultivars. Molecular markers for the E2 and E3 loci, which control the time of flowering and maturity in soybean (Glycine max), were developed in this study. Single nucleotide-amplified polymorphism (SNAP) markers were developed from the nonsense mutation in E2 (GmGIa), which is a circadian clock-controlled gene. The E2- and e2-specific SNAP markers were validated using six E2 isolines. The soybean E3 gene is a photoreceptor phytochrome A (GmPhyA3) gene, and a co-dominant marker was designed based on sequence deletions within the E3 allele. A multiplex PCR assay using three primers for the E3 gene allowed allelic discrimination based on the sizes of PCR products. Furthermore, this E3 marker successfully detected two alleles in a single reaction when two types of DNA were pooled. These markers determined the genotypes of our mapping population previously reported to detect flowering quantitative trait loci close to the E2 and E3 loci, confirming that the mutations are responsible for the early flowering phenotype. The use of SNAP markers for E2 and a co-dominant marker for E3 is a simple, fast, and reproducible method, requiring only PCR and agarose gel electrophoresis. The molecular resources developed in this study could accelerate marker-assisted selection and cultivar development for short-season areas in a soybean breeding program.