Branch angle and leaflet shape are associated with canopy coverage in soybean

Kamaldeep Virdi, Suma Sreekanta, Austin A Dobbels, Allison M Haaning, Diego Jarquin, Robert M. Stupar, Aaron J. Lorenz, Gary J. Muehlbauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Early canopy coverage is a desirable trait that is a major determinant of yield in soybean (Glycine max). Variation in traits comprising shoot architecture can influence canopy coverage, canopy light interception, canopy-level photosynthesis, and source-sink partitioning efficiency. However, little is known about the extent of phenotypic diversity of shoot architecture traits and their genetic control in soybean. Thus, we sought to understand the contribution of shoot architecture traits to canopy coverage and to determine the genetic control of these traits. We examined the natural variation for shoot architecture traits in a set of 399 diverse maturity group I soybean (SoyMGI) accessions to identify relationships between traits, and to identify loci that are associated with canopy coverage and shoot architecture traits. Canopy coverage was correlated with branch angle, number of branches, plant height, and leaf shape. Using previously collected 50K single nucleotide polymorphism data, we identified quantitative trait locus (QTL) associated with branch angle, number of branches, branch density, leaflet shape, days to flowering, maturity, plant height, number of nodes, and stem termination. In many cases, QTL intervals overlapped with previously described genes or QTL. We also found QTL associated with branch angle and leaflet shape located on chromosomes 19 and 4, respectively, and these QTL overlapped with QTL associated with canopy coverage, suggesting the importance of branch angle and leaflet shape in determining canopy coverage. Our results highlight the role individual architecture traits play in canopy coverage and contribute information on their genetic control that could help facilitate future efforts in their genetic manipulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere20304
JournalPlant Genome
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Shane Heinen and Anna N. Hofstad for technical help and funding from the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. The Plant Genome published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Crop Science Society of America.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


Dive into the research topics of 'Branch angle and leaflet shape are associated with canopy coverage in soybean'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this