Phenotypic characterization and genetic dissection of growth period traits in soybean (Glycine max) using association mapping

Zhangxiong Liu, Huihui Li, Xuhong Fan, Wen Huang, Jiyu Yang, Candong Li, Zixiang Wen, Yinghui Li, Rongxia Guan, Yong Guo, Ruzhen Chang, Dechun Wang, Shuming Wang, Li Juan Qiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The growth period traits are important traits that affect soybean yield. The insights into the genetic basis of growth period traits can provide theoretical basis for cultivated area division, rational distribution, and molecular breeding for soybean varieties. In this study, genome-wide association analysis (GWAS) was exploited to detect the quantitative trait loci (QTL) for number of days to flowering (ETF), number of days from flowering to maturity (FTM), and number of days to maturity (ETM) using 4032 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers with 146 cultivars mainly from Northeast China. Results showed that abundant phenotypic variation was presented in the population, and variation explained by genotype, environment, and genotype by environment interaction were all significant for each trait. The whole accessions could be clearly clustered into two subpopulations based on their genetic relatedness, and accessions in the same group were almost from the same province. GWAS based on the unified mixed model identified 19 significant SNPs distributed on 11 soybean chromosomes, 12 of which can be consistently detected in both planting densities, and 5 of which were pleotropic QTL. Of 19 SNPs, 7 SNPs located in or close to the previously reported QTL or genes controlling growth period traits. The QTL identified with high resolution in this study will enrich our genomic understanding of growth period traits and could then be explored as genetic markers to be used in genomic applications in soybean breeding.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0158602
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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