Changes in gene expression between a soybean F1 hybrid and its parents are associated with agronomically valuable traitsReport as inadecuate

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Soybean Glycine max L. Merr. genetic diversity is limited because domesticated soybean has undergone multiple genetic bottlenecks. Its progenitor, the wild soybean Glycine soja Siebold and Zucc, has not undergone the same intense selection and is much more genetically diverse than domesticated soybean. However, the agronomic importance of diversity in wild soybean is unclear, and its weedy nature makes assessment difficult. To address this issue, we chose for study a highly selected, adapted F4-derived progeny of wild soybean, NMS4-44-329. This breeding line is derived from the hybridization between G. max cultivar N7103 and G. soja PI 366122. Agronomic comparisons were made among N7103, NMS4-44-329 and their F1 and F2 progeny in replicated yield trials at two North Carolina locations. Significant F1 mid-parent heterosis was observed at each location for seed yield 189 and 223 kgha-1, P<0.05 and P<0.10, respectively, seed protein content 1.1g-100g, P<0.01 and protein production per hectare 101 and 100 kgha-1, P<0.01 and P<0.06, respectively. Increased yield, seed protein content and protein production per hectare in the hybrids suggested that wild soybean has the potential to improve agronomic traits in applied breeding. Comparisons of differentially-expressed genes in the hybrid vs. parents identified genes associated with N metabolism. Non-additive changes in gene expression in the hybrids relative to the parents could reasonably explain the improved protein levels in the F1 hybrids. Changes in gene expression were influenced by environmental effects; however, allele specific bias in the hybrids were well correlated between environments. We propose that changes in gene expression, both additive and non-additive, and changes in allele specific expression bias may explain agronomic traits, and be valuable tools for plant breeders in the assessment of breeding populations.

Author: Earl Taliercio , David Eickholt, Rakin Rouf, Thomas Carter



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