2017 Volume 67 Issue 5 Pages 435-449
Knowledge of the genetic architecture of flowering and maturity is needed to develop effective breeding strategies in tropical soybean. The aim of this study was to identify haplotypes across multiple environments that contribute to flowering time and maturity, with the purpose of selecting desired alleles, but maintaining a minimal impact on yield-related traits. For this purpose, a genome-wide association study (GWAS) was undertaken to identify genomic regions that control days to flowering (DTF) and maturity (DTM) using a soybean association mapping panel genotyped for single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers. Complementarily, yield-related traits were also assessed to discuss the implications for breeding strategies. To detect either stable or specific associations, the soybean cultivars (N = 141) were field-evaluated across eight tropical environments of Brazil. Seventy-two and forty associations were significant at the genome-wide level relating respectively to DTM and DTF, in two or more environments. Haplotype-based GWAS identified three haplotypes (Gm12_Hap12; Gm19_Hap42 and Gm20_Hap32) significantly co-associated with DTF, DTM and yield-related traits in single and multiple environments. These results indicate that these genomic regions may contain genes that have pleiotropic effects on time to flowering, maturity and yield-related traits, which are tightly linked with multiple other genes with high rates of linkage disequilibrium.