Table_4_Identification of QTNs Controlling Seed Protein Content in Soybean Using Multi-Locus Genome-Wide Association Studies.XLSX

Protein content (PC), an important trait in soybean (Glycine max) breeding, is controlled by multiple genes with relatively small effects. To identify the quantitative trait nucleotides (QTNs) controlling PC, we conducted a multi-locus genome-wide association study (GWAS) for PC in 144 four-way recombinant inbred lines (FW-RILs). All the FW-RILs were phenotyped for PC in 20 environments, including four locations over 4 years with different experimental treatments. Meanwhile, all the FW-RILs were genotyped using SoySNP660k BeadChip, producing genotype data for 109,676 non-redundant single-nucleotide polymorphisms. A total of 129 significant QTNs were identified by five multi-locus GWAS methods. Based on the 22 common QTNs detected by multiple GWAS methods or in multiple environments, pathway analysis identified 8 potential candidate genes that are likely to be involved in protein synthesis and metabolism in soybean seeds. Using superior allele information for 22 common QTNs in 22 elite and 7 inferior lines, we found higher superior allele percentages in the elite lines and lower percentages in the inferior lines. These findings will contribute to the discovery of the polygenic networks controlling PC in soybean, increase our understanding of the genetic foundation and regulation of PC, and be useful for molecular breeding of high-protein soybean varieties.