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Association mapping for seed size and shape traits in soybean cultivars

Niu, Yuan, Xu, Yu, Liu, Xiao-Fen, Yang, Sheng-Xian, Wei, Shi-Ping, Xie, Fang-Teng, Zhang, Yuan-Ming
Molecular breeding 2013 v.31 no.4 pp. 785-794
Glycine max, alleles, appearance (quality), cultivars, ecotypes, quantitative trait loci, sampling, seed yield, soybeans
Seed size and shape traits are closely related to seed yield and appearance quality in soybean (Glycine max L.). Previous studies were mainly derived from bi-parental segregating populations and relatively little is known about the results in soybean cultivars. In this study, 257 soybean cultivars obtained by stratified random sampling from six geographic ecotypes in China were used to carry out association mapping for these traits using information from 135 simple sequence repeat markers and an epistatic association mapping approach implemented using an empirical Bayes algorithm. In this analysis, seed size was measured by seed length (SL), width (SW) and thickness (ST), and seed shape was evaluated by seed length-to-width (SLW), length-to-thickness (SLT) and width-to-thickness (SWT) ratios, in 2008–2010. A total of 59 main-effect quantitative trait loci (QTL) and 31 QTL-by-environment interactions were identified. Among them, 25 QTL were associated simultaneously with at least two traits; 80 QTL (90 %) could be confirmed by enriched compression mixed linear model analysis; and the size for a large number of detected QTL was minor, except for qSL-5, qSW-7e, qST-5-2 and qSLW-2. According to the estimates for the allelic effects of the detected QTL, elite alleles could be mined: for example, the 307-bp allele of QTL linked to satt453 was the best for seed length. These elite alleles could be used to design parental combinations; e.g., the cross of Zhenghezhibanzi and Nannongdahuangdou might improve seed length, and the combination of cultivars Lindou10, Deqingxiangzhudou, Ninghaixiazhidou, Zhenghezhibanzi, 0803, Shangqiu7605 and 0831 might pyramid 42 elite alleles.