Molecular mapping and genomics of soybean seed protein: a review and perspective for the future

Gunvant Patil, Rouf Mian, Tri Vuong, Vince Pantalone, Qijian Song, Pengyin Chen, Grover J. Shannon, Tommy C. Carter, Henry T. Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Key message: Genetic improvement of soybean protein meal is a complex process because of negative correlation with oil, yield, and temperature. This review describes the progress in mapping and genomics, identifies knowledge gaps, and highlights the need of integrated approaches. Abstract: Meal protein derived from soybean [Glycine max (L) Merr.] seed is the primary source of protein in poultry and livestock feed. Protein is a key factor that determines the nutritional and economical value of soybean. Genetic improvement of soybean seed protein content is highly desirable, and major quantitative trait loci (QTL) for soybean protein have been detected and repeatedly mapped on chromosomes (Chr.) 20 (LG-I), and 15 (LG-E). However, practical breeding progress is challenging because of seed protein content’s negative genetic correlation with seed yield, other seed components such as oil and sucrose, and interaction with environmental effects such as temperature during seed development. In this review, we discuss rate-limiting factors related to soybean protein content and nutritional quality, and potential control factors regulating seed storage protein. In addition, we describe advances in next-generation sequencing technologies for precise detection of natural variants and their integration with conventional and high-throughput genotyping technologies. A syntenic analysis of QTL on Chr. 15 and 20 was performed. Finally, we discuss comprehensive approaches for integrating protein and amino acid QTL, genome-wide association studies, whole-genome resequencing, and transcriptome data to accelerate identification of genomic hot spots for allele introgression and soybean meal protein improvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1975-1991
Number of pages17
JournalTheoretical and Applied Genetics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support for this study provided by United Soybean Board (Project# 1720-152-0106).

Funding Information:
Improvement of protein and amino acid profiles have been a major, long-term goal of soybean geneticists/breeders, however, the narrow genetic base and genome complexity of soybean limit the efforts for genetic mapping and genomic improvement. Mutagenized populations (physical, chemical, transposon tagging or transformation-induced mutagens) have been useful in crop improvement (Bolon et al. ; Hancock et al. ; Shi et al. ). These mutagens are important for introducing genetic variation to be used in trait discovery, functional validation, and breeding. Fortunately, larger scale mutant screening is now very efficient due to NGS technologies coupled with comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) to detect copy number variations, polymorphism, and structural variations in the genome (Bolon et al. ). In soybean, mutations for several agronomic traits, including cyst nematode resistance (Shi et al. ), oleic acid (Sandhu et al. ), chlorophyll deficiency (Campbell et al. ), oil (Bolon et al. ; Schmidt and Herman ), stearic acid (Gillman et al. ), and nodulation (Men et al. ) were discovered using induced mutation. The mutant resources from the large-scale soybean fast neutron mutation project, supported by the National Science Foundation, are available for the soybean community and can be utilized for soybean meal improvement and other traits (Bolon et al. , ) ( ). Nevertheless, it is important to take into account that induced mutations can also make undesirable changes in the genome leading to yield drag and other detrimental effects (Gillman et al. ; Sandhu et al. ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, The Author(s).


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