Positional Cloning of the Flowering Time QTL qFT12-1 Reveals the Link Between the Clock Related PRR Homolog With Photoperiodic Response in Soybeans.
ABSTRACT: Flowering time and maturity are important agronomic traits for soybean cultivars to adapt to different latitudes and achieve maximal yield. Genetic studies on genes and quantitative trait loci (QTL) that control flowering time and maturity are extensive. In particular, the molecular bases of E1-E4, E6, E9, E10, and J have been deciphered. For a better understanding of regulation of flowering time gene networks, we need to understand if more molecular factors carrying different biological functions are also involved in the regulation of flowering time in soybeans. We developed a population derived from a cross between a landrace Jilincailihua (male) and a Chinese cultivar Chongnong16 (female). Both parents carry the same genotypes of E1e2E3HaE4 at E1, E2, E3, and E4 loci. Nighty-six individuals of the F2 population were genotyped with Illumina SoySNP8k iSelect BeadChip. A total of 2,407 polymorphic single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers were used to construct a genetic linkage map. One major QTL, qFT12-1, was mapped to an approximately 567-kB region on chromosome 12. Genotyping and phenotyping of recombinant plant whose recombination events were occurring within the QTL region allowed us to narrow down the QTL region to 56.4 kB, in which four genes were annotated. Allelism and association analysis indicated Glyma.12G073900, a PRR7 homolog, is the strongest candidate gene for qFT12-1. The findings of this study disclosed the possible involvement of circadian clock gene in flowering time regulation of soybeans.
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: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: 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:FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) is an important floral integrator whose functions are conserved across plant species. In soybean, two orthologs, FT2a and FT5a, play a major role in initiating flowering. Their expression in response to different photoperiods is controlled by allelic combinations at the maturity loci E1 to E4, generating variation in flowering time among cultivars. We determined the molecular basis of a quantitative trait locus (QTL) for flowering time in linkage group J (Chromosome 16). Fine-mapping delimited the QTL to a genomic region of 107kb that harbors FT5a We detected 15 DNA polymorphisms between parents with the early-flowering (ef) and late-flowering (lf) alleles in the promoter region, an intron, and the 3' untranslated region of FT5a, although the FT5a coding regions were identical. Transcript abundance of FT5a was higher in near-isogenic lines for ef than in those for lf, suggesting that different transcriptional activities or mRNA stability caused the flowering time difference. Single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) calling from re-sequencing data for 439 cultivated and wild soybean accessions indicated that ef is a rare haplotype that is distinct from common haplotypes including lf The ef allele at FT5a may play an adaptive role at latitudes where early flowering is desirable.
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: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:Understanding the molecular mechanisms of flowering and maturity is important for improving the adaptability and yield of seed crops in different environments. In soybean, a facultative short-day plant, genetic variation at four maturity genes, E1 to E4, plays an important role in adaptation to environments with different photoperiods. However, the molecular basis of natural variation in time to flowering and maturity is poorly understood. Using a cross between early-maturing soybean cultivars, we performed a genetic and molecular study of flowering genes. The progeny of this cross segregated for two maturity loci, E1 and E9. The latter locus was subjected to detailed molecular analysis to identify the responsible gene.Fine mapping, sequencing, and expression analysis revealed that E9 is FT2a, an ortholog of Arabidopsis FLOWERING LOCUS T. Regardless of daylength conditions, the e9 allele was transcribed at a very low level in comparison with the E9 allele and delayed flowering. Despite identical coding sequences, a number of single nucleotide polymorphisms and insertions/deletions were detected in the promoter, untranslated regions, and introns between the two cultivars. Furthermore, the e9 allele had a Ty1/copia-like retrotransposon, SORE-1, inserted in the first intron. Comparison of the expression levels of different alleles among near-isogenic lines and photoperiod-insensitive cultivars indicated that the SORE-1 insertion attenuated FT2a expression by its allele-specific transcriptional repression. SORE-1 was highly methylated, and did not appear to disrupt FT2a RNA processing.The soybean maturity gene E9 is FT2a, and its recessive allele delays flowering because of lower transcript abundance that is caused by allele-specific transcriptional repression due to the insertion of SORE-1. The FT2a transcript abundance is thus directly associated with the variation in flowering time in soybean. The e9 allele may maintain vegetative growth in early-flowering genetic backgrounds, and also be useful as a long-juvenile allele, which causes late flowering under short-daylength conditions, in low-latitude regions.
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:Time to flowering and maturity in soybean is controlled by loci E1 to E5, and E7 to E9. These loci were assigned to molecular linkage groups (MLGs) except for E5. This study was conducted to map the E5 locus using F2 populations expected to segregate for E5. F2 populations were subjected to quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis for days to flowering (DF) and maturity (DM). In Harosoy-E5 × Clark-e2 population, QTLs for DF and DM were found at a similar position with E2. In Harosoy × Clark-e2E5 population, QTLs for DF and DM were found in MLG D1a and B1, respectively. In Harosoy-E5Dt2 × Clark-e2 population, a QTL for DF was found in MLG B1. Thus, results from these populations were not fully consistent, and no candidate QTL for E5 was found. In Harosoy × PI 80837 population, from which E5 was originally identified, QTLs corresponding to E1 and E3 were found, but none for E5 existed. Harosoy and PI 80837 had the e2-ns allele whereas Harosoy-E5 had the E2-dl allele. The E2-dl allele of Harosoy-E5 may have been generated by outcrossing and may be responsible for the lateness of Harosoy-E5. We conclude that a unique E5 gene may not exist.