Agronomy and Horticulture Department



Date of this Version



2019 The Authors.


Plant Biotechnology Journal (2020) 18, pp. 389–401 doi: 10.1111/pbi.13206


Landraces often contain genetic diversity that has been lost in modern cultivars, including alleles that confer enhanced local adaptation. To comprehensively identify loci associated with adaptive traits in soya bean landraces, for example flowering time, a population of 1938 diverse landraces and 97 accessions of the wild progenitor of cultivated soya bean, Glycine soja was genotyped using tGBS. Based on 99 085 high-quality SNPs, landraces were classified into three subpopulations which exhibit geographical genetic differentiation. Clustering was inferred from STRUCTURE, principal component analyses and neighbour-joining tree analyses. Using phenotypic data collected at two locations separated by 10 degrees of latitude, 17 trait-associated SNPs (TASs) for flowering time were identified, including a stable locus Chr12:5914898 and previously undetected candidate QTL/genes for flowering time in the vicinity of the previously cloned flowering genes, E1 and E2. Using passport data associated with the collection sites of the landraces, 27 SNPs associated with adaptation to three bioclimatic variables (temperature, daylength, and precipitation) were identified. A series of candidate flowering genes were detected within linkage disequilibrium (LD) blocks surrounding 12 bioclimatic TASs. Nine of these TASs exhibit significant differences in flowering time between alleles within one or more of the three individual sub-populations. Signals of selection during domestication and/or subsequent landrace diversification and adaptation were detected at 38 of the 44 flowering and bioclimatic TASs. Hence, this study lays the groundwork to begin breeding for novel environments predicted to arise following global climate change.