Genome-wide association mapping of QTL underlying seed oil and protein contents of a diverse panel of soybean accessions

Ying hui Li, Jochen C. Reif, Hui long Hong, Hui hui Li, Zhang xiong Liu, Yan song Ma, Jun Li, Yun Tian, Yan fei Li, Wen bin Li, Li juan Qiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To investigate the genetic basis of variation in oil and protein contents in soybean seeds, a diverse collection of 421 mainly Chinese soybean cultivars was genotyped using 1536 SNPs, mostly from candidate genes related to acyl-lipid metabolism and from regions harboring known QTL. Six significant associations were identified for each of seed oil and protein contents which individually explained 2.7–5.9% of the phenotypic variance. Six associations occurred in or near known QTL and the remaining are putative novel QTL. Ten significant associations influenced the oil content without decreasing protein content, and vice versa. One SNP was pleiotropic, with opposite effects on oil and protein contents. The genetic region covering Map-6076 and-6077 was shown to be involved in controlling oil content in soybean by integrating the results of association mapping with information on known QTL and tissue-specific expression data. This region was subject to strong selection during the genetic improvement of soybean. Our results not only confirm and refine the map positions of known QTL but also contribute to a further elucidation of the genetic architecture of protein and oil contents in soybean seeds by identifying new associations exhibiting pleiotropic effects on seed protein and oil contents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-101
Number of pages7
JournalPlant Science
StatePublished - Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017


  • Artificial selection
  • Genetic architecture
  • Glycine max
  • GWAS
  • Molecular assistant selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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