, Volume 123, Issue 4, pp 545-553
Date: 10 Jun 2011

QTL identification of flowering time at three different latitudes reveals homeologous genomic regions that control flowering in soybean

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Since the genetic control of flowering time is very important in photoperiod-sensitive soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.), genes affecting flowering under different environment conditions have been identified and described. The objectives were to identify quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for flowering time in different latitudinal and climatic regions, and to understand how chromosomal rearrangement and genome organization contribute to flowering time in soybean. Recombinant inbred lines from a cross between late-flowering ‘Jinpumkong 2’ and early-flowering ‘SS2-2’ were used to evaluate the phenotypic data for days to flowering (DF) collected from Kamphaeng Saen, Thailand (14°01′N), Suwon, Korea (37°15′N), and Longjing, China (42°46′N). A weakly positive phenotypic correlation (r = 0.36) was found between DF in Korea and Thailand; however, a strong correlation (r = 0.74) was shown between Korea and China. After 178 simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers were placed on a genetic map spanning 2,551.7 cM, four independent DF QTLs were identified on different chromosomes (Chrs). Among them, three QTLs on Chrs 9, 13 and 16 were either Thailand- or Korea-specific. The DF QTL on Chr 6 was identified in both Korea and China, suggesting it is less environment-sensitive. Comparative analysis of four DF QTL regions revealed a syntenic relationship between two QTLs on Chrs 6 and 13. All five duplicated gene pairs clustered in the homeologous genomic regions were found to be involved in the flowering. Identification and comparative analysis of multiple DF QTLs from different environments will facilitate the significant improvement in soybean breeding programs with respect to control of flowering time.

Communicated by I. Rajcan.