Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version



Mol Breeding (2014) 33:281–296


Soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] is an important oilseed crop which produces about 30 %of the world’s edible vegetable oil. The quality of soybean oil is determined by its fatty acid composition. Soybean oil high in oleic and low in linolenic fatty acids is desirable for human consumption and other uses. The objectives of this study were to identify quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for unsaturated fatty acids and to evaluate the genetic effects of single QTL and QTL combinations in soybean. A population of recombinant inbred lines derived from the cross of SD02-4-59 X A02-381100 was evaluated for fatty acid content in seven environments. In total, 516 polymorphic single nucleotide polymorphism markers, 477 polymorphic simple sequence repeat markers and three GmFAD3 geneswere used to genotype the mapping population. By using the composite interval mapping and/or the interval mapping method, a total of 15 QTLs for the three unsaturated fatty acids were detected in more than two environments. Two QTLs for oleic acid on linkage groups G [chromosome (Chr) 18] (qOLE-G) and J (Chr 16) (qOLE-J), three QTLs for linoleic acid on linkage groups A1 (Chr 5) (qLLE-A1) and G (Chr 18) (qLLE-G-1 and qLLE-G-2), and five QTLs for linolenic acid on linkage groups C2 (Chr 6), D1a (Chr 1),D1b (Chr 2), F (Chr 13) and G (Chr 18) were consistently detected in at least three individual environments and the average data over all environments. Significant QTL X QTL interactions were not detected. However, significant QTL X environment interactions were detected for all the QTLs which were repeatedly detected. Some QTLs reported previously were confirmed, and seven new QTLs (two for oleic acid, two for linoleic acid and three for linolenic acid) were identified in this study. Comparisons of two-locus and three-locus combinations indicated that cumulative effects ofQTLswere significant for all the three unsaturated fatty acids. QTL pyramiding by molecular marker-assisted breeding would be an appropriate strategy for the improvement of unsaturated fatty acids in soybean.