Image_1_Identification of the Genomic Region Underlying Seed Weight per Plant in Soybean (Glycine max L. Merr.) via High-Throughput Single-Nucleotide Polymorphisms and a Genome-Wide Association Study.TIF

Seed weight per plant (SWPP) of soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.), a complicated quantitative trait controlled by multiple genes, was positively associated with soybean seed yields. In the present study, a natural soybean population containing 185 diverse accessions primarily from China was used to analyze the genetic basis of SWPP via genome-wide association analysis (GWAS) based on high-throughput single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) generated by the Specific Locus Amplified Fragment Sequencing (SLAF-seq) method. A total of 33,149 SNPs were finally identified with minor allele frequencies (MAF) > 5% which were present in 97% of all the genotypes. Twenty association signals associated with SWPP were detected via GWAS. Among these signals, eight SNPs were novel loci, and the other twelve SNPs were overlapped or located in the linked genomic regions of the reported QTL from SoyBase database. Several genes belonging to the categories of hormone pathways, RNA regulation of transcription in plant development, ubiquitin, transporting systems, and other metabolisms were considered as candidate genes associated with SWPP. Furthermore, nine genes from the flanking region of Gm07:19488264, Gm08:15768591, Gm08:15768603, or Gm18:23052511 were significantly associated with SWPP and were stable among multiple environments. Nine out of 18 haplotypes from nine genes showed the effect of increasing SWPP. The identified loci along with the beneficial alleles and candidate genes could be of great value for studying the molecular mechanisms underlying SWPP and for improving the potential seed yield of soybean in the future.