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1.  Genetic improvement for phosphorus efficiency in soybean: a radical approach 
Annals of Botany  2010;106(1):215-222.
Low phosphorus (P) availability is a major constraint to soybean growth and production. Developing P-efficient soybean varieties that can efficiently utilize native P and added P in the soils would be a sustainable and economical approach to soybean production.
This review summarizes the possible mechanisms for P efficiency and genetic strategies to improve P efficiency in soybean with examples from several case studies. It also highlights potential obstacles and depicts future perspectives in ‘root breeding’.
This review provides new insights into the mechanisms of P efficiency and breeding strategies for this trait in soybean. Root biology is a new frontier of plant biology. Substantial efforts are now focusing on increasing soybean P efficiency through ‘root breeding’. To advance this area, additional collaborations between plant breeders and physiologists, as well as applied and theoretical research are needed to develop more soybean varieties with enhanced P efficiency through root modification, which might contribute to reduced use of P fertilizers, expanding agriculture on low-P soils, and achieving more sustainable agriculture.
PMCID: PMC2889788  PMID: 20228090
Soybean; genetic improvement; phosphorus efficiency; root breeding
2.  QTL analysis of root traits as related to phosphorus efficiency in soybean 
Annals of Botany  2010;106(1):223-234.
Background and Aims
Low phosphorus (P) availability is a major constraint to soybean growth and production, especially in tropical and subtropical areas. Root traits have been shown to play critical roles in P efficiency in crops. Identification of the quantitative trait loci (QTLs) conferring superior root systems could significantly enhance genetic improvement in soybean P efficiency.
A population of 106 F9 recombinant inbred lines (RILs) derived from a cross between BD2 and BX10, which contrast in both P efficiency and root architecture, was used for mapping and QTL analysis. Twelve traits were examined in acid soils. A linkage map was constructed using 296 simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers with the Kosambi function, and the QTLs associated with these traits were detected by composite interval mapping and multiple-QTL mapping.
Key Results
The first soybean genetic map based on field data from parental genotypes contrasting both in P efficiency and root architecture was constructed. Thirty-one putative QTLs were detected on five linkage groups, with corresponding contribution ratios of 9·1–31·1 %. Thirteen putative QTLs were found for root traits, five for P content, five for biomass and five for yield traits. Three clusters of QTLs associated with the traits for root and P efficiency at low P were located on the B1 linkage group close to SSR markers Satt519 and Satt519-Sat_128, and on the D2 group close to Satt458; and one cluster was on the B1 linkage group close to Satt519 at high P.
Most root traits in soybean were conditioned by more than two minor QTLs. The region closer to Satt519 on the B1 linkage group might have great potential for future genetic improvement for soybean P efficiency through root selection.
PMCID: PMC2889805  PMID: 20472699
Quantitative trait loci (QTLs); soybean; Glycine max; root traits; phosphorus efficiency

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