Allelic Variation and Distribution of the Major Maturity Genes in Different Soybean Collections.
ABSTRACT: Soybean time of flowering and maturity are genetically controlled by E genes. Different allelic combinations of these genes determine soybean adaptation to a specific latitude. The paper describes the first attempt to assess adaptation of soybean genotypes developed and realized at Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops, Novi Sad, Serbia [Novi Sad (NS) varieties and breeding lines] based on E gene variation, as well as to comparatively assess E gene variation in North-American (NA), Chinese, and European genotypes, as most of the studies published so far deal with North-American and Chinese cultivars and breeding material. Allelic variation and distribution of the major maturity genes (E1, E2, E3, and E4) has been determined in 445 genotypes from soybean collections of NA ancestral lines, Chinese germplasm, and European varieties, as well as NS varieties and breeding lines. The study showed that allelic combinations of E1-E4 genes significantly determined the adaptation of varieties to different geographical regions, although they have different impacts on maturity. In general, each collection had one major E genotype haplogroup, comprising over 50% of the lines. The exceptions were European varieties that had two predominant haplogroups and NA ancestral lines distributed almost evenly among several haplogroups. As e1-as/e2/E3/E4 was the most common genotype in NS population, present in the best-performing genotypes in terms of yield, this specific allele combination was proposed as the optimal combination for the environments of Central-Eastern Europe.
Project description:Appropriate flowering and maturity time are important for soybean production. Four maturity genes E1, E2, E3 and E4 have been molecularly identified and found to play major roles in the control of flowering and maturity of soybean. Here, to further investigate the effect of different allele combinations of E1-E4, we performed Kompetitive Allele Specific PCR (KASP) assays based on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at these four E loci, and genotyped E1-E4 genes across 308 Chinese cultivars with a wide range of maturity groups. In total, twenty-one allele combinations for E1-E4 genes were identified across these Chinese cultivars. Various combinations of mutations at four E loci gave rise to the diversity of flowering and maturity time, which were associated with the adaptation of soybean cultivars to diverse geographic regions and farming systems. In particular, the cultivars with mutations at all four E loci reached flowering and maturity very early, and adapted to high-latitude cold regions. The allele combinations e1-as/e2-ns/e3-tr/E4, E1/e2-ns/E3/E4 and E1/E2/E3/E4 played important roles in the Northeast China, Huang-Huai-Hai (HHH) Rivers Valley and South China regions, respectively. Notably, E1 and E2, especially E2, affected flowering and maturity time of soybean significantly. Our study will be beneficial for germplasm evaluation, cultivar improvement and regionalization of cultivation in soybean production.
Project description:BACKGROUND: With the migration of human beings, advances of agricultural sciences, evolution of planting patterns and global warming, soybeans have expanded to both tropical and high-latitude cold regions (HCRs). Unlike other regions, HCRs have much more significant and diverse photoperiods and temperature conditions over seasons or across latitudes, and HCR soybeans released there show rich diversity in maturity traits. However, HCR soybeans have not been as well classified into maturity groups (MGs) as other places. Therefore, it is necessary to identify MGs in HCRs and to genotype the maturity loci. METHODS: Local varieties were collected from the northern part of Northeast China and the far-eastern region of Russia. Maturity group reference (MGR) soybeans of MGs MG000, MG00, and MG0 were used as references during field experiments. Both local varieties and MGR soybeans were planted for two years (2010-2011) in Heihe (N 50°15', E 127°27', H 168.5 m), China. The days to VE (emergence), R1 (beginning bloom) and R7 (beginning maturity) were recorded and statistically analyzed. Furthermore, some varieties were further genotyped at four molecularly-identified maturity loci E1, E2, E3 and E4. RESULTS: The HCR varieties were classified into MG0 or even more early-maturing. In Heihe, some varieties matured much earlier than MG000, which is the most early-maturing known MG, and clustered into a separate group. We designated the group as MG0000, following the convention of MGs. HCR soybeans had relatively stable days to beginning bloom from emergence. The HCR varieties diversified into genotypes of E1, E2, E3 and E4. These loci had different effects on maturity. CONCLUSION: HCRs diversify early-maturing MGs of soybean. MG0000, a new MG that matures much earlier than known MGs, was developed. HCR soybean breeding should focus more on shortening post-flowering reproductive growth. E1, E2, E3, and E4 function differentially.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Absence of or low sensitivity to photoperiod is necessary for short-day crops, such as rice and soybean, to adapt to high latitudes. Photoperiod insensitivity in soybeans is controlled by two genetic systems and involves three important maturity genes: E1, a repressor for two soybean orthologs of Arabidopsis FLOWERING LOCUS T (GmFT2a and GmFT5a), and E3 and E4, which are phytochrome A genes. To elucidate the diverse mechanisms underlying photoperiod insensitivity in soybean, we assessed the genotypes of four maturity genes (E1 through E4) in early-flowering photoperiod-insensitive cultivars and their association with post-flowering responses. RESULTS: We found two novel dysfunctional alleles in accessions originally considered to have a dominant E3 allele according to known DNA markers. The E3 locus, together with E1 and E4, contained multiple dysfunctional alleles. We identified 15 multi-locus genotypes, which we subdivided into 6 genotypic groups by classifying their alleles by function. Of these, the e1-as/e3/E4 genotypic group required an additional novel gene (different from E1, E3, and E4) to condition photoperiod insensitivity. Despite their common pre-flowering photoperiod insensitivity, accessions with different multi-locus genotypes responded differently to the post-flowering photoperiod. Cultivars carrying E3 or E4 were sensitive to photoperiod for post-flowering characteristics, such as reproductive period and stem growth after flowering. The phytochrome A-regulated expression of the determinate growth habit gene Dt1, an ortholog of Arabidopsis TERMINAL FLOWER1, was involved in the persistence of the vegetative activity at the stem apical meristem of flower-induced plants under long-day conditions. CONCLUSIONS: Diverse genetic mechanisms underlie photoperiod insensitivity in soybean. At least three multi-locus genotypes consisting of various allelic combinations at E1, E3, and E4 conferred pre-flowering photoperiod insensitivity to soybean cultivars but led to different responses to photoperiod during post-flowering vegetative and reproductive development. The phyA genes E3 and E4 are major controllers underlying not only pre-flowering but also post-flowering photoperiod responses. The current findings improve our understanding of genetic diversity in pre-flowering photoperiod insensitivity and mechanisms of post-flowering photoperiod responses in soybean.
Project description:The time to flowering and maturity are ecologically and agronomically important traits for soybean landrace and cultivar adaptation. As a typical short-day crop, long day conditions in the high-latitude regions require soybean cultivars with photoperiod insensitivity that can mature before frost. Although the molecular basis of four major E loci (E1 to E4) have been deciphered, it is not quite clear whether, or to what degree, genetic variation and the expression level of the four E genes are associated with the time to flowering and maturity of soybean cultivars. In this study, we genotyped 180 cultivars at E1 to E4 genes, meanwhile, the time to flowering and maturity of those cultivars were investigated at six geographic locations in China from 2011 to 2012 and further confirmed in 2013. The percentages of recessive alleles at E1, E2, E3 and E4 loci were 38.34%, 84.45%, 36.33%, and 7.20%, respectively. Statistical analysis showed that allelic variations at each of four loci had a significant effect on flowering time as well as maturity. We classified the 180 cultivars into eight genotypic groups based on allelic variations of the four major E loci. The genetic group of e1-nf representing dysfunctional alleles at the E1 locus flowered earliest in all the geographic locations. In contrast, cultivars in the E1E2E3E4 group originated from the southern areas flowered very late or did not flower before frost at high latitude locations. The transcriptional abundance of functional E1 gene was significantly associated with flowering time. However, the ranges of time to flowering and maturity were quite large within some genotypic groups, implying the presence of some other unknown genetic factors that are involved in control of flowering time or maturity. Known genes (e.g. E3 and E4) and other unknown factors may function, at least partially, through regulation of the expression of the E1 gene.
Project description:North American soybean breeders have successfully developed a large number of elite cultivars with diverse maturity groups (MG) from a small number of ancestral landraces. To understand molecular and genetic basis underlying the large variation in their maturity and flowering times, we integrated pedigree and maturity data of 166 cultivars representing North American soybean breeding. Network analysis and visualization of their pedigree relationships revealed a clear separation of southern and northern soybean breeding programs, suggesting that little genetic exchange occurred between northern (MG 0-IV) and southern cultivars (MG V-VIII). We also analyzed the transcript sequence and expression levels of four major maturity genes (E1 to E4) and revealed their allelic variants in 75 major ancestral landraces and milestone cultivars. We observed that e1-as was the predominant e mutant allele in northern genotypes, followed by e2 and e3. There was no allelic variation at E4. Transcript accumulation of the e2 mutant allele was significantly reduced, which might be caused by its premature stop codon triggering the nonsense-mediated mRNA decay pathway. The large DNA deletion generating the e3 mutant allele also created a gene fusion transcript. The e alleles found in milestone cultivars were traced through pedigrees to their ancestral landraces and geographic origins. Our analysis revealed an approximate correlation between dysfunctional alleles and maturity groups for most of the 75 cultivars. However, single e mutant alleles and their combinations were not sufficient to fully explain their maturity diversity, suggesting that additional genes/alleles are likely involved in regulating maturity time.
Project description:Soybean is still a minor crop in Kazakhstan despite an increase in planting area from 4,500 to 11,400 km2 between 2006 and 2014. However, the Government's recently accepted crop diversification policy projects the expansion of soybean cultivation area to more than 40,000 km2 by 2020. The policy is targeting significant expansion of soybean production in South-eastern, Eastern, and Northern regions of Kazakhstan. Successful realization of this policy requires a comprehensive characterization of plant growth parameters to identify optimal genotypes with appropriate adaptive phenotypic traits. In this study 120 soybean accessions from different parts of the World, including 18 accessions from Kazakhstan, were field tested in South-eastern, Eastern, and Northern regions of the country. These studies revealed positive correlation of yield with flowering time in Northern Kazakhstan, with seed maturity time in Eastern Kazakhstan, and with both these growth stages in South-eastern Kazakhstan. It was determined that in South-eastern, Eastern and Northern regions of Kazakhstan the majority of productive genotypes were in maturity groups MGI, MG0, and MG00, respectively. The accessions were genotyped for four major maturity genes (E1, E2, E3, and E4) in order to assess the relationship between E loci and agronomic traits. The allele composition of the majority of accessions was e1-as/e2/E3/E4 (specific frequencies 57.5%, 91.6%, 65.0%, and 63.3%, respectively). Accessions with dominant alleles in either E3 or E4 genes showed higher yield in all three regions, although the specific genotype associated with greatest productivity was different for each site. Genotype-environment interaction studies based on yield performances suggest that South-east and East regions formed one mega-environment, which was well separated from North Kazakhstan where significantly earlier time to maturation is required. The results provide important insights into the relationship between genetic and phenotypic patterns in new soybean growing territories in Kazakhstan.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Soybean is native to the temperate zones of East Asia. Poor yields of soybean in West African countries may be partially attributed to inadequate adaptation of soybean to tropical environments. Adaptation will require knowledge of the effects of allelic combinations of major maturity genes (E1, E2, and E3) and stem architecture. The long juvenile trait (J) influences soybean flowering time in short, ~?12?h?days, which characterize tropical latitudes. Soybean plant architecture includes determinate or indeterminate stem phenotypes controlled by the Dt1 gene. Understanding the influence of these genetic components on plant development and adaptation is key to optimize phenology and improve soybean yield potential in tropical environments. RESULTS:Soybean lines from five recombinant inbred populations were developed that varied in their combinations of targeted genes. The soybean lines were field tested in multiple environments and characterized for days to flowering (DTF), days to maturity (DTM), and plant height in locations throughout northern Ghana, and allelic combinations were determined for each line for associating genotype with phenotype. The results revealed significant differences based on genotype for DTF and DTM and allowed the comparison of different variant alleles of those genes. The mutant alleles of J and E1 had significant impact on DTF and DTM, and alleles of those genes interacted with each other for DTF but not DTM. The Dt1 gene significantly influenced plant height but not DTF or DTM. CONCLUSIONS:This research identified major and minor effect alleles of soybean genes that can be combined to control DTF, DTM, and plant height in short day tropical environments in Ghana. These phenotypes contribute to adaptation to a low latitude environment that can be optimized in a soybean breeding program with targeted selection of desired allele combinations. The knowledge of the genetic control of these traits will enhance molecular breeding to produce optimally adapted soybean varieties targeted to tropical environments.
Project description:In this Genomics Era, vast amounts of next-generation sequencing data have become publicly available for multiple genomes across hundreds of species. Analyses of these large-scale datasets can become cumbersome, especially when comparing nucleotide polymorphisms across many samples within a dataset and among different datasets or organisms. To facilitate the exploration of allelic variation and diversity, we have developed and deployed an in-house computer software to categorize and visualize these haplotypes. The SNPViz software enables users to analyze region-specific haplotypes from single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) datasets for different sequenced genomes. The examination of allelic variation and diversity of important soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] flowering time and maturity genes may provide additional insight into flowering time regulation and enhance researchers' ability to target soybean breeding for particular environments. For this study, we utilized two available soybean genomic datasets for a total of 72 soybean genotypes encompassing cultivars, landraces, and the wild species Glycine soja. The major soybean maturity genes E1, E2, E3, and E4 along with the Dt1 gene for plant growth architecture were analyzed in an effort to determine the number of major haplotypes for each gene, to evaluate the consistency of the haplotypes with characterized variant alleles, and to identify evidence of artificial selection. The results indicated classification of a small number of predominant haplogroups for each gene and important insights into possible allelic diversity for each gene within the context of known causative mutations. The software has both a stand-alone and web-based version and can be used to analyze other genes, examine additional soybean datasets, and view similar genome sequence and SNP datasets from other species.
Project description:Although four maturity genes, E1 to E4, in soybean have been successfully cloned, their functional mechanisms and the regulatory network of photoperiodic flowering remain to be elucidated. In this study, we investigated how the diurnal expression pattern of the E1 gene is related to photoperiodic length; and to what extent allelic variation in the B3-like domain of the E1 gene is associated with flowering time phenotype. The bimodal expression of the E1 gene peaked first at around 2 hours after dawn in long-day condition. The basal expression level of E1 was enhanced by the long light phase, and decreased by duration of dark. We identified a 5bp (3 SNP and 2-bp deletion) mutation, referred to an e1-b3a, which occurs in the middle of B3 domain of the E1 gene in the early flowering cultivar Yanhuang 3. Subcellular localization analysis showed that the putative truncated e1-b3a protein was predominately distributed in nuclei, indicating the distribution pattern of e1-b3a was similar to that of E1, but not to that of e1-as. Furthermore, genetic analysis demonstrated allelic variations at the E1 locus significantly underlay flowering time in three F2 populations. Taken together, we can conclude the legume specific E1 gene confers some special features in photoperiodic control of flowering in soybean. Further characterization of the E1 gene will extend our understanding of the soybean flowering pathway in soybean.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The timing of flowering has a direct impact on successful seed production in plants. Flowering of soybean (Glycine max) is controlled by several E loci, and previous studies identified the genes responsible for the flowering loci E1, E2, E3 and E4. However, natural variation in these genes has not been fully elucidated. The aims of this study were the identification of new alleles, establishment of allele diagnoses, examination of allelic combinations for adaptability, and analysis of the integrated effect of these loci on flowering. METHODS: The sequences of these genes and their flanking regions were determined for 39 accessions by primer walking. Systematic discrimination among alleles was performed using DNA markers. Genotypes at the E1-E4 loci were determined for 63 accessions covering several ecological types using DNA markers and sequencing, and flowering times of these accessions at three sowing times were recorded. KEY RESULTS: A new allele with an insertion of a long interspersed nuclear element (LINE) at the promoter of the E1 locus (e1-re) was identified. Insertion and deletion of 36 bases in the eighth intron (E2-in and E2-dl) were observed at the E2 locus. Systematic discrimination among the alleles at the E1-E3 loci was achieved using PCR-based markers. Allelic combinations at the E1-E4 loci were found to be associated with ecological types, and about 62-66 % of variation of flowering time could be attributed to these loci. CONCLUSIONS: The study advances understanding of the combined roles of the E1-E4 loci in flowering and geographic adaptation, and suggests the existence of unidentified genes for flowering in soybean.