Genetic architecture of soybean yield and agronomic traits

Brian W. Diers, Jim Specht, Katy Martin Rainey, Perry Cregan, Qijian Song, Vishnu Ramasubramanian, George Graef, Randall Nelson, William Schapaugh, Dechun Wang, Grover Shannon, Leah Mchale, Stella K. Kantartzi, Alencar Xavier, Rouf Mian, Robert M. Stupar, Jean Michel Michno, Yong Qiang Charles An, Wolfgang Goettel, Russell WardCarolyn Fox, Alexander E. Lipka, David Hyten, Troy Cary, William D. Beavis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Soybean is the world's leading source of vegetable protein and demand for its seed continues to grow. Breeders have successfully increased soybean yield, but the genetic architecture of yield and key agronomic traits is poorly understood. We developed a 40-mating soybean nested association mapping (NAM) population of 5,600 inbred lines that were characterized by single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers and six agronomic traits in field trials in 22 environments. Analysis of the yield, agronomic, and SNP data revealed 23 significant marker-trait associations for yield, 19 for maturity, 15 for plant height, 17 for plant lodging, and 29 for seed mass. A higher frequency of estimated positive yield alleles was evident from elite founder parents than from exotic founders, although unique desirable alleles from the exotic group were identified, demonstrating the value of expanding the genetic base of US soybean breeding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3367-3375
Number of pages9
JournalG3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2018 Reid et al.


  • Multiparent advanced generation inter-cross (MAGIC)
  • Multiparental populations mpp
  • Soybean genetic improvement
  • Yield genetic mapping


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