Genetic architecture of cyst nematode resistance revealed by genome-wide association study in soybean

T. D. Vuong, H. Sonah, C. G. Meinhardt, R. Deshmukh, S. Kadam, R. L. Nelson, J. G. Shannon, H. T. Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Bi-parental mapping populations have been commonly utilized to identify and characterize quantitative trait loci (QTL) controlling resistance to soybean cyst nematode (SCN, Heterodera glycines Ichinohe). Although this approach successfully mapped a large number of SCN resistance QTL, it captures only limited allelic diversity that exists in parental lines, and it also has limitations for genomic resolution. In this study, a genome-wide association study (GWAS) was performed using a diverse set of 553 soybean plant introductions (PIs) belonging to maturity groups from III to V to detect QTL/genes associated with SCN resistance to HG Type 0. Results: Over 45,000 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers generated by the SoySNP50K iSelect BeadChip (http// ) were utilized for analysis. GWAS identified 14 loci distributed over different chromosomes comprising 60 SNPs significantly associated with SCN resistance. Results also confirmed six QTL that were previously mapped using bi-parental populations, including the rhg1 and Rhg4 loci. GWAS identified eight novel QTL, including QTL on chromosome 10, which we have previously mapped by using a bi-parental population. In addition to the known loci for four simple traits, such as seed coat color, flower color, pubescence color, and stem growth habit, two traits, like lodging and pod shattering, having moderately complex inheritance have been confirmed with great precision by GWAS. Conclusions: The study showed that GWAS can be employed as an effective strategy for identifying complex traits in soybean and for narrowing GWAS-defined genomic regions, which facilitates positional cloning of the causal gene(s).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number593
JournalBMC genomics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 12 2015


  • Genome-wide association study (GWAS)
  • Linkage disequilibrium (LD)
  • Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP)
  • Soybean (Glycine max)
  • Soybean cyst nematode (SCN)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Genetics

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