Genetic Dissection of Yield Related Traits for Soybean Breeding (Year 2)
Sustainable Production
Lead Principal Investigator:
Jianxin Ma, Purdue University
Co-Principal Investigators:
Project Code:
Contributing Organization (Checkoff):
Institution Funded:
Brief Project Summary:

Wild soybean (Glycine soja) has abundant genetic diversity and contains genes that have not been used in a commercial soybean breeding program, but it is difficult to use in soybean breeding unless favorable and undesirable traits are identified. Researchers previously developed Recombinant Inbred Line (RIL) populations derived from crosses between the soybean cultivar Williams 82 and two G. soja accessions. They also found RILs with favorable traits such as pod numbers per node, node numbers per plant, and seed sizes, as well as favorable plant architecture traits. Project objectives include identifying genes and/or genomic regions associated with these yield-related traits and to develop molecular markers for selection of yield-related traits in soybeans.

Key Benefactors:
farmers, plant breeders, geneticists

Information And Results
Final Project Results

final results will be updated

This is the first year of a 3-year project started in May 01, 2017. The research objectives were built on our previous work funded by ISA and complement to a 3-year NCSRP soybean yield-breeding project towards delivering superior soybean varieties to producers in the North Central region. The central goal of this project is to identify key genes associated with soybean yield potential for enhancement of elite varieties. The main objectives of this ISA project and research progress made in the first year (FY2017) of the project are summarized below:

1) Identify genes and/or genomic regions (i.e., small DNA fragments) underlying yield component traits such as pod numbers per node, node numbers per plant, and seed sizes and plant architecture traits such as branching angles and leave shapes.

Progress: Using resources/materials produced previously and through this project, and the phenotyping (traits) data generated in the Agronomy farm, as well as genotyping data (DNA markers), we have (i) identified a key QTL/gene controlling soybean branching angle/canopy coverage; (ii) defined a major QTL region underlying soybean seed number per pod to an ~800-kb chromosomal fragment; (iii) identified a major QTL associated with soybean leaf shape. These significant progress has laid a solid foundation for development of high-yield soybean varieties with enhanced yield components and ideal plant architecture for high yield. Seed size was found to be controlled with several minor effect QTLs, and will not be further explored. We we are developing additional markers for finer-scale localization of the QTL associated with seed size and are in the process of validating candidate genes for branching angle/ canopy coverage, and leave shape.

2) Develop molecular markers for implementing marker-assisted selection for yield-related traits in breeding programs.

Progress: We have developed molecular markers based on the sequence variation in the candidate genes and/or the QTL regions under those specific yield component traits. Some of these markers have been used to track the relevant genes and assist to identify additional genes associated with these traits. This approach has proven to be very powerful in dissecting complex traits each controlled by multiple genes. We have also started to use these markers to precisely genotype/validate a set of soybean varieties that represent soybean genetic diversity. These accessions have been previously either re-sequenced or genotyped by using 50K SNP markers by soybean research community, and thus allows us leverage publicly available data to maximize our capacity for gene/allele discovery and utilization of these genes/alleles for germplasm enhancement.

3) Select and evaluate experimental lines with enhanced yield potential

Progress: We have planted some of the high-yielding experimental lines derived from crosses between elite soybean varieties and over 10 wild soybean (the progenitor species of cultivated soybeans) accessions, and measure yield components and branching angles. Their relative contribution to yield potential need to be further evaluated.

Publication: A manuscript with support from this project and the NCSRP project, which is entitled "Genetic Dissection of Domestication-Related Traits in Soybean through Genotyping-by-Sequencing of Two Interspecific Mapping Populations" be Swarm et al., has been accepted for publication in Theoretical and Applied Genetics.

Potential changes: we anticipate an no-cost extension to make the proposed work and time-frame better match and complement the ongoing soybean yield project funded by NCSRP. We will make sure the NCE is requested three months ahead of the project expiration date.

The United Soybean Research Retention policy will display final reports with the project once completed but working files will be purged after three years. And financial information after seven years. All pertinent information is in the final report or if you want more information, please contact the project lead at your state soybean organization or principal investigator listed on the project.