Association mapping identifies loci for canopy coverage in diverse soybean genotypes
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Rapid establishment of canopy coverage decreases soil evaporation relative to transpiration, improves water use efficiency and light interception, and increases soybean competitiveness against weeds. The objective of this study was to identify genomic loci associated with canopy coverage (CC). Canopy coverage was evaluated using a panel of 373 MG IV soybean genotypes that was grown in five environments. Digital image analysis was used to determine canopy coverage two times (CC1 and CC2) during vegetative development approximately 8 to 16 days apart for each environment. After filtration for quality control, 31,260 SNPs with a minor allele frequency (MAF) ≥ 5% were used for association mapping with the FarmCPU model. Analysis identified significant SNP-canopy coverage associations including 36 for CC1 and 56 for CC2. Five SNPs for CC1 and 11 SNPs for CC2 were present in at least two environments. The significant SNP associations likely tagged 33 (CC1) and 50 (CC2) different quantitative trait loci (QTLs). Eleven putative loci were identified in which chromosomal regions associated were coincident for CC1 and CC2. Candidate genes identified using these significant SNPs included those with reported functions associated with growth, developmental, and light responses. Favorable alleles from significant SNPs may be an important resource for pyramiding genes to improve canopy coverage and for identifying parental genotypes for use in breeding programs.
KeywordsSoybean Association mapping Light interception
The authors gratefully acknowledge partial funding of this research from the United Soybean Board. Mention of trade names or commercial products in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the US Department of Agriculture. The USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
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