Identification of genomic regions associated with soybean responses to off-target dicamba exposure

Caio Canella Vieira, Diego Jarquin, Emanuel Ferrari do Nascimento, Dongho Lee, Jing Zhou, Scotty Smothers, Jianfeng Zhou, Brian Diers, Dean E. Riechers, Dong Xu, Grover Shannon, Pengyin Chen, Henry T. Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The widespread adoption of genetically modified (GM) dicamba-tolerant (DT) soybean was followed by numerous reports of off-target dicamba damage and yield losses across most soybean-producing states. In this study, a subset of the USDA Soybean Germplasm Collection consisting of 382 genetically diverse soybean accessions originating from 15 countries was used to identify genomic regions associated with soybean response to off-target dicamba exposure. Accessions were genotyped with the SoySNP50K BeadChip and visually screened for damage in environments with prolonged exposure to off-target dicamba. Two models were implemented to detect significant marker-trait associations: the Bayesian-information and Linkage-disequilibrium Iteratively Nested Keyway (BLINK) and a model that allows the inclusion of population structure in interaction with the environment (G×E) to account for variable patterns of genotype responses in different environments. Most accessions (84%) showed a moderate response, either moderately tolerant or moderately susceptible, with approximately 8% showing tolerance and susceptibility. No differences in off-target dicamba damage were observed across maturity groups and centers of origin. Both models identified significant associations in regions of chromosomes 10 and 19. The BLINK model identified additional significant marker-trait associations on chromosomes 11, 14, and 18, while the G×E model identified another significant marker-trait association on chromosome 15. The significant SNPs identified by both models are located within candidate genes possessing annotated functions involving different phases of herbicide detoxification in plants. These results entertain the possibility of developing non-GM soybean cultivars with improved tolerance to off-target dicamba exposure and potentially other synthetic auxin herbicides. Identification of genetic sources of tolerance and genomic regions conferring higher tolerance to off-target dicamba may sustain and improve the production of other non-DT herbicide soybean production systems, including the growing niche markets of organic and conventional soybean.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1090072
JournalFrontiers in Plant Science
StatePublished - Dec 9 2022


  • GWAS
  • G×E
  • dicamba
  • genomics
  • plant breeding
  • soybean
  • synthetic auxin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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