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.
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.