A genome-wide association study for agronomic traits in soybean using SNP markers and SNP-Based haplotype analysis

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Mapping quantitative trait loci through the use of linkage disequilibrium (LD) in populations of unrelated individuals provides a valuable approach for dissecting the genetic basis of complex traits in soybean (Glycine max). The haplotype-based genome-wide association study (GWAS) has now been proposed as a complementary approach to intensify benefits from LD, which enable to assess the genetic determinants of agronomic traits. In this study a GWAS was undertaken to identify genomic regions that control 100-seed weight (SW), plant height (PH) and seed yield (SY) in a soybean association mapping panel using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers and haplotype information. The soybean cultivars (N = 169) were field-evaluated across four locations of southern Brazil. The genome-wide haplotype association analysis (941 haplotypes) identified eleven, seventeen and fifty-nine SNP-based haplotypes significantly associated with SY, SW and PH, respectively. Although most marker-Trait associations were environment and trait specific, stable haplotype associations were identified for SY and SW across environments (i.e., haplotypes Gm12 Hap12). The haplotype block 42 on Chr19 (Gm19 Hap42) was confirmed to be associated with PH in two environments. These findings enable us to refine the breeding strategy for tropical soybean, which confirm that haplotype-based GWAS can provide new insights on the genetic determinants that are not captured by the single-marker approach.




Contreras-Soto, R. I., Mora, F., De Oliveira, M. A. R., Higashi, W., Scapim, C. A., & Schuster, I. (2017). A genome-wide association study for agronomic traits in soybean using SNP markers and SNP-Based haplotype analysis. PLoS ONE, 12(2). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0171105

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