Genomic Regions Associated with Important Seed Quality Traits in Food-grade Soybeans
Background: The production of soy-based food products requires specific physical and chemical characteristics of the soybean seed. Identification of quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with value-added traits, such as seed weight, seed protein and sucrose concentration, could accelerate the development of competitive high-protein soybean cultivars for the food-grade market through marker-assisted selection (MAS). The objectives of this study were to identify and validate QTL associated
... QTL associated with these value-added traits in two high-protein recombinant inbred line (RIL) populations.Results: The RIL populations were derived from the high-protein cultivar 'AC X790P' (49% protein, dry weight basis), and two high-yielding commercial cultivars, 'S18-R6' (41% protein) and 'S23-T5' (42% protein). Fourteen large-effect QTL (R2 >10%) were identified associated with seed protein concentration. Of these QTL, seven QTL were detected in both populations, and eight of them were co-localized with QTL associated with either seed sucrose concentration or seed weight. None of the protein-related QTL was found to be associated with seed yield in either population. Sixteen candidate genes with putative roles in protein metabolism were identified within seven of these protein-related regions: qPro_Gm02-3, qPro_Gm04-4, qPro_Gm06-1, qPro_Gm06-3, qPro_Gm06-6, qPro_Gm13-4 and qPro-Gm15-3.Conclusion: The use of RIL populations derived from high-protein parents created an opportunity to identify four novel QTL that may have been masked by large-effect QTL segregating in populations developed from diverse parental cultivars. In total, we have identified nine protein QTL that were detected either in both populations in the current study or reported in other studies. These QTL may be useful in the curated selection of new soybean cultivars for optimized soy-based food products.