Genome-wide association mapping of resistance to Phytophthora sojae in a soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] germplasm panel from maturity groups IV and V
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Phytophthora sojae, an oomycete pathogen of soybean, causes stem and root rot, resulting in annual economic loss up to $2 billion worldwide. Varieties with P. sojae resistance are environmental friendly to effectively reduce disease damages. In order to improve the resistance of P. sojae and broaden the genetic diversity in Southern soybean cultivars and germplasm in the U.S., we established a P. sojae resistance gene pool that has high genetic diversity, and explored genomic regions underlying the host resistance to P. sojae races 1, 3, 7, 17 and 25. A soybean germplasm panel from maturity groups (MGs) IV and V including 189 accessions originated from 10 countries were used in this study. The panel had a high genetic diversity compared to the 6,749 accessions from MGs IV and V in USDA Soybean Germplasm Collection. Based on disease evaluation dataset of these accessions inoculated with P. sojae races 1, 3, 7, 17 and 25, which are publically available, five accessions in this panel were resistant to all races. Genome-wide association analysis identified a total of 32 significant SNPs, which were clustered in resistance-associated genomic regions, among those, ss715619920 was only 3kb away from the gene Glyma. 14g087500, a subtilisin protease. Gene expression analysis showed that the gene was down-regulated more than 4 fold (log2 fold > 2.2) in response to P. sojae infection. The identified molecular markers and genomic regions that are associated with the disease resistance in this gene pool will greatly assist the U.S. Southern soybean breeders in developing elite varieties with broad genetic background and P. sojae resistance.