Height is a critical component of plant architecture, significantly affecting crop yield. The genetic basis of this trait in soybean remains unclear. In this study, we report the characterization of the Compact mutant of soybean, which has short internodes. The candidate gene was mapped to chromosome 17, and the interval containing the causative mutation was further delineated using biparental mapping. Whole-genome sequencing of the mutant revealed an 8.7 kb deletion in the promoter of the Glyma.17g145200 gene, which encodes a member of the class III gibberellin (GA) 2-oxidases. The mutation has a dominant effect, likely via increased expression of the GA 2-oxidase transcript observed in green tissue, as a result of the deletion in the promoter of Glyma.17g145200. We further demonstrate that levels of GA precursors are altered in the Compact mutant, supporting a role in GA metabolism, and that the mutant phenotype can be rescued with exogenous GA3. We also determined that overexpression of Glyma.17g145200 in Arabidopsis results in dwarfed plants. Thus, gain of promoter activity in the Compact mutant leads to a short internode phenotype in soybean through altered metabolism of gibberellin precursors. These results provide an example of how structural variation can control an important crop trait and a role for Glyma.17g145200 in soybean architecture, with potential implications for increasing crop yield.
- GA 2-oxidase
- short internode
- Glycine max
- genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS)