This study is led by Dr. Zhengjun Xia (Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology , Chinese Academy of Sciences) and Dr. Zhixi Tian (Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences). The soybean E1 gene, a major regulator that plays an important role in flowering time and maturity was cloned in 2012 (Xia et al., 2012, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 109 (32) E2155–E2164 ), but how soybean carrying the dominant E1 allele adapt to the higher latitudinal areas of northern China remains unclear. In this paper, the researchers mapped the novel quantitative trait locus QNE1 (QTL near E1) for flowering time to the region proximal to E1 on chromosome 6 in two mappings [ “Suinong 10” (Chinese cultivar) × “Iwahime” (Japanese cultivar) and Zhonghuang 13 × Heinong 51]. One of the parent, Zhonghuang 13, is the most widely cultivated cultivar in China.
The researchers validated that the candidate gene for QNE1 is Glyma.06G204300, encoding a TCP-type transcription factor, through positional cloning, association analysis, subcellular localization, BiFC, and transformation studies in both soybean and rapeseeds (Brassica napus).
They also conclude that QNE1 and E4 may control flowering time through different regulatory mechanisms despite their similar effects on flowering time, which enriches our knowledge of flowering gene networks in soybean.
This study will facilitate breeding soybean cultivars with broader latitudinal adaptation, it also helps us understand why Zhonghuang 13, the most cultivated cultivar in China, has broader latitudinal adaptability.
See the article:
QNE1 is a key flowering regulator determining the length of the vegetative period in soybean cultivars
Science China Life Sciences