Association mapping combined with linkage analysis for aluminum tolerance among soybean cultivars released in Yellow and Changjiang River Valleys in China

Paul C Korir, Jun Zhang, Kejing Wu, Tuanjie Zhao, Junyi Gai
TAG. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. Theoretische und Angewandte Genetik 2013, 126 (6): 1659-75
Association mapping (AM) combined with linkage mapping (LM) was executed to identify molecular markers and QTL regions associated with aluminum (Al) tolerance using relative root elongation (RRE) in hydroponics as an indicator. A set of 188 soybean cultivars released in Yellow and Changjiang River Valleys and 184 recombinant inbred lines (RIL) derived from a cross KF No. 1 (tolerant) × NN1138-2 (susceptible) was used in the study. Inheritance analysis of the RIL population suggested four major genes and polygenes controlled Al-tolerance. Further, LM indicated four additive and four epistatic QTL pairs plus a collective unmapped minor QTL were responsible for Al-tolerance and explained 29.39, 18.75 and 43.07 % of the phenotypic variation (PV), respectively. In the set of released cultivars, AM identified 11 markers significant at P < 0.03 that explained 85.2 % of PV with six of which at P < 0.01 accounted for 57.9 % of PV. Ten of these eleven AM marker-QTL were mapped within range of ~2.0 cM to ~43.0 cM outside confidence interval of respective Al-tolerance QTL in previous studies. Five markers, Satt209, Sat_364, Sat_240, Sct_190 and Satt284, were located near Al-tolerance QTL regions in this and previous LM studies. Thus, the two methods confirmed these markers as being the most likely candidate regions for Al-tolerance. Allele effects relative to the population mean for the 11 QTL were estimated, and the allele A210 of Satt209 showed greatest phenotypic effect on Al-tolerance. The two most favorable alleles from each of the 11 marker loci and their carriers were identified, and accordingly the genetic constitution of Al-tolerance for the 188 cultivars was dissected as a QTL-allele matrix. Therefore, marker-assisted pairing of crosses and marker-assisted selection of progenies can be carried out to pyramid favorable alleles of all the 11 loci. This marker-assisted breeding procedure was designated as breeding by design using a QTL-allele matrix.

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