Agronomy and Horticulture Department


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Manavalan LP, Prince SJ, Musket TA, Chaky J, Deshmukh R, Vuong TD, et al. (2015) Identification of Novel QTL Governing Root Architectural Traits in an Interspecific Soybean Population. PLoS ONE 10(3): e0120490. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0120490


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Cultivated soybean (Glycine max L.) cv. Dunbar (PI 552538) and wild G. soja (PI 326582A) exhibited significant differences in root architecture and root-related traits. In this study, phenotypic variability for root traits among 251 BC2F5 backcross inbred lines (BILs) developed from the cross Dunbar/PI 326582A were identified. The root systems of the parents and BILs were evaluated in controlled environmental conditions using a cone system at seedling stage. The G. max parent Dunbar contributed phenotypically favorable alleles at a major quantitative trait locus on chromosome 8 (Satt315-I locus) that governed root traits (tap root length and lateral root number) and shoot length. This QTL accounted for >10% of the phenotypic variation of both tap root and shoot length. This QTL region was found to control various shoot- and root-related traits across soybean genetic backgrounds. Within the confidence interval of this region, eleven transcription factors (TFs) were identified. Based on RNA sequencing and Affymetrix expression data, key TFs including MYB, AP2-EREBP and bZIP TFs were identified in this QTL interval with high expression in roots and nodules. The backcross inbred lines with different parental allelic combination showed different expression pattern for six transcription factors selected based on their expression pattern in root tissues. It appears that the marker interval Satt315–I locus on chromosome 8 contain an essential QTL contributing to early root and shoot growth in soybean.