Key message: The confirmation of a major locus associated with salt tolerance and mapping of a new locus, which could be beneficial for improving salt tolerance in soybean. Abstract: Breeding soybean for tolerance to high salt conditions is important in some regions of the USA and world. Soybean cultivar Fiskeby III (PI 438471) in maturity group 000 has been reported to be highly tolerant to multiple abiotic stress conditions, including salinity. In this study, a mapping population of 132 F2 families derived from a cross of cultivar Williams 82 (PI 518671, moderately salt sensitive) and Fiskeby III (salt tolerant) was analyzed to map salt tolerance genes. The evaluation for salt tolerance was performed by analyzing leaf scorch score (LSS), chlorophyll content ratio (CCR), leaf sodium content (LSC), and leaf chloride content (LCC) after treatment with 120 mM NaCl under greenhouse conditions. Genotypic data for the F2 population were obtained using the SoySNP6K Illumina Infinium BeadChip assay. A major allele from Fiskeby III was significantly associated with LSS, CCR, LSC, and LCC on chromosome (Chr.) 03 with LOD scores of 19.1, 11.0, 7.7 and 25.6, respectively. In addition, a second locus associated with salt tolerance for LSC was detected and mapped on Chr. 13 with an LOD score of 4.6 and an R2 of 0.115. Three gene-based polymorphic molecular markers (Salt-20, Salt14056 and Salt11655) on Chr.03 showed a strong predictive association with phenotypic salt tolerance in the present mapping population. These molecular markers will be useful for marker-assisted selection to improve salt tolerance in soybean.
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Acknowledgements This research was supported in part by the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council and the Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station. Mr. Tuyen Do would like to thank Cuu Long Delta Rice Research Institute and the Vietnam Ministry of Agriculture for a graduate student scholarship.
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