JOURNAL ARTICLE

Using the candidate gene approach for detecting genes underlying seed oil concentration and yield in soybean

Mehrzad Eskandari, Elroy R Cober, Istvan Rajcan
TAG. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. Theoretische und Angewandte Genetik 2013, 126 (7): 1839-50
23568222
Increasing the oil concentration in soybean seeds has been given more attention in recent years because of demand for both edible oil and biodiesel production. Oil concentration in soybean is a complex quantitative trait regulated by many genes as well as environmental conditions. To identify genes governing seed oil concentration in soybean, 16 putative candidate genes of three important gene families (GPAT: acyl-CoA:sn-glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase, DGAT: acyl-CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase, and PDAT: phospholipid:diacylglycerol acyltransferase) involved in triacylglycerol (TAG) biosynthesis pathways were selected and their sequences retrieved from the soybean database ( http://www.phytozome.net/soybean ). Three sequence mutations were discovered in either coding or noncoding regions of three DGAT soybean isoforms when comparing the parents of a 203 recombinant inbreed line (RIL) population; OAC Wallace and OAC Glencoe. The RIL population was used to study the effects of these mutations on seed oil concentration and other important agronomic and seed composition traits, including seed yield and protein concentration across three field locations in Ontario, Canada, in 2009 and 2010. An insertion/deletion (indel) mutation in the GmDGAT2B gene in OAC Wallace was significantly associated with reduced seed oil concentration across three environments and reduced seed yield at Woodstock in 2010. A mutation in the 3' untranslated (3'UTR) region of GmDGAT2C was associated with seed yield at Woodstock in 2009. A mutation in the intronic region of GmDGAR1B was associated with seed yield and protein concentration at Ottawa in 2010. The genes identified in this study had minor effects on either seed yield or oil concentration, which was in agreement with the quantitative nature of the traits. However, the novel gene-specific markers designed in the present study can be used in soybean breeding for marker-assisted selection aimed at increasing seed yield and oil concentration with no significant impact on seed protein concentration.

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