JOURNAL ARTICLE

Genetic control of soybean seed oil: II. QTL and genes that increase oil concentration without decreasing protein or with increased seed yield

Mehrzad Eskandari, Elroy R Cober, Istvan Rajcan
TAG. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. Theoretische und Angewandte Genetik 2013, 126 (6): 1677-87
23536049
Soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merrill] seed oil is the primary global source of edible oil and a major renewable and sustainable feedstock for biodiesel production. Therefore, increasing the relative oil concentration in soybean is desirable; however, that goal is complex due to the quantitative nature of the oil concentration trait and possible effects on major agronomic traits such as seed yield or protein concentration. The objectives of the present study were to study the relationship between seed oil concentration and important agronomic and seed quality traits, including seed yield, 100-seed weight, protein concentration, plant height, and days to maturity, and to identify oil quantitative trait loci (QTL) that are co-localized with the traits evaluated. A population of 203 F4:6 recombinant inbred lines, derived from a cross between moderately high oil soybean genotypes OAC Wallace and OAC Glencoe, was developed and grown across multiple environments in Ontario, Canada, in 2009 and 2010. Among the 11 QTL associated with seed oil concentration in the population, which were detected using either single-factor ANOVA or multiple QTL mapping methods, the number of QTL that were co-localized with other important traits QTL were six for protein concentration, four for seed yield, two for 100-seed weight, one for days to maturity, and one for plant height. The oil-beneficial allele of the QTL tagged by marker Sat_020 was positively associated with seed protein concentration. The oil favorable alleles of markers Satt001 and GmDGAT2B were positively correlated with seed yield. In addition, significant two-way epistatic interactions, where one of the interacting markers was solely associated with seed oil concentration, were identified for the selected traits in this study. The number of significant epistatic interactions was seven for yield, four for days to maturity, two for 100-seed weight, one for protein concentration, and one for plant height. The identified molecular markers associated with oil-related QTL in this study, which also have positive effects on other important traits such as seed yield and protein concentration, could be used in the soybean marker breeding programs aimed at developing either higher seed yield and oil concentration or higher seed protein and oil concentration per hectare. Alternatively, selecting complementary parents with greater breeding values due to positive epistatic interactions could lead to the development of higher oil soybean cultivars.

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