Introgression of a quantitative trait locus for yield from Glycine soja into commercial soybean cultivars

V C Concibido, B La Vallee, P McLaird, N Pineda, J Meyer, L Hummel, J Yang, K Wu, X Delannay
TAG. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. Theoretische und Angewandte Genetik 2003, 106 (4): 575-82
The value of exotic germplasm in broadening the genetic base of most crops has been demonstrated many times. However, the difficulties involved in working with exotic germplasm have limited their utility in plant breeding. Unwanted linkages often thwart the successful incorporation of beneficial exotic genes into commercial lines. Thus, the use of exotics in traditional breeding makes the process of crop improvement a tedious, time-consuming and expensive endeavor. The availability of molecular markers makes it possible to isolate specific genomic regions and transfer them into commercial varieties with minimal linkage drag. We found a yield-enhancing quantitative trait locus (QTL) from Glycine soja (Siebold and Zucc.) by evaluating a population of 265 BC(2) individuals from a cross between HS-1 and PI 407305. The yield QTL was located on linkage group B2(U26) of the soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merrill] genetic linkage map. In a 2-year, multi-location study, individuals carrying the PI 407305 haplotype at the QTL locus demonstrated a 9.4% yield advantage over individuals that did not contain the exotic haplotype. When tested in a more uniform "HS-1-like" background in two locations, we observed an 8% yield advantage for lines that carry the PI 407305 haplotype. We further assessed the QTL effect in various elite soybean genetic backgrounds. The yield effect was consistently observed in only two of six genetic backgrounds. Individuals carrying the PI 407305 haplotype at the QTL locus had a 9% yield advantage in yield trials across locations. Despite the limited adaptability of this yield-QTL across genetic backgrounds, this study demonstrates the potential of exotic germplasm for yield enhancement in soybean.

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