Uncovering signatures of selection in the soybean genome using SSR diversity near QTLs of agronomic importance
The cultivated soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] is widely considered to descend from the wild soybean (G. soja Sieb. & Zucc.). This study was designed to evaluate the genetic variability and differentiation between G. soja and G. max, and to detect signatures of the selection that may have occurred during the domestication process from G. soja to G. max. A total of 192 G. soja accessions and 104 G. max accessions were genotyped using eight selected simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers assigned to three SSR groups. Four SSRs in group A were not located near any known QTL. Three SSRs in group B were associated with seed protein content, and an SSR in group C was associated with resistance to Sclerotinia stem rot. The number of alleles per locus and the level of genetic variability in G. soja were higher than those in G. max. A total of 122 out of 125 alleles were present in G. soja, but only 59 alleles were detected in G. max. The average gene diversity was 0.74 in G. soja and 0.64 in G. max. Four SSRs near QTLs of agronomic importance showed strong genetic differentiation and shift change in high frequency alleles in groups B and C between G. soja and G. max, revealing selection signatures that may reflect the domestication events and recent selective breeding. With reduced diversity in G. max, some undomesticated genes from G. soja should be prime candidates for introgression to increase the pool of diversity in G. max.
KeywordsDomestication Gene diversity Glycine max Glycine soja Selection signature
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