QTL mapping for flowering time in different latitude in soybean
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Flowering represents the transition from the vegetative to reproductive phase and plays an important role in many agronomic traits. For soybean, a short day (SD) induced and photoperiod-sensitive plant, delaying flowering time under SD environments is very important and has been used by breeders to increase yields and enhance plant adaptabilities at lower latitudes. The purpose of this study was to identify quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with flowering time, especially QTLs underlying the long juvenile (LJ) trait which delays flowering time under SD environments. A population of 91 recombinant inbred lines derived from a cross between AGS292 and K3 was used for map construction and QTL analysis. The map covered 2546.7 cM and included 52 new promoter-specific indel and 9 new exon-specific indel markers. The phenotypic days-to-flowering data were examined in nine environments, including four short-day (SD, low latitude) and five long-day photoperiod (LD, high latitude) environments. For the SD environments, six QTLs were detected. Five of them were associated with the LJ trait. Among the five LJ QTLs, four QTLs may be attributed to the known flowering time genes, including qFT-J-1 for FT5a locus, qFT-J-2 for the FT2a locus, qFT-O for the E2 locus and qFT-L for the E3 locus. This is the first report that the E2, E3, FT2a and FT5a loci may be associated with the LJ trait. Under the five LD environments, as expected, qFT-O for the E2 locus and qFT-L for the E3 locus were identified, suggesting that E2 and E3 loci are very important for soybean adaptation in LD photoperiod. Conjoint analysis of multiple environments identified nine additive QTLs and nine pairs of epistatic QTLs, among which most were involved in interactions with the environments. In total, five QTLs (qFT-B2-1, qFT-C1-1, qFT-K, qFT-D2 and qFT-F) were identified that may represent novel flowering time genes. This provides a fundamental foundation for future studies of flowering time in soybean using fine mapping, map-based cloning, and molecular-assisted breeding.
KeywordsAdditive effect Epistatic effect Flowering time Long juvenile trait (LJ) Quantitative trait loci (QTLs)
This work was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31430065, 31071445, 31171579, 31201222, 31230050, 31371651 and 31371643); the Open Foundation of the Key Laboratory of Soybean Molecular Design Breeding, Chinese Academy of Sciences; “Hundred Talents” Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences; Strategic Action Plan for Science and Technology Innovation of Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDA08030108); and Heilongjiang Natural Science Foundation of China (ZD201001, JC201313).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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