Drought stress has long been a major constraint in maintaining yield stability of soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) in rainfed ecosystems. The identification of consistent quantitative trait loci (QTL) involving seed yield per plant (YP) and drought susceptibility index (DSI) in a population across different environments would therefore be important in molecular marker-assisted breeding of soybean cultivars suitable for rainfed regions. The YP of a recombinant line population of 184 F(2:7:11) lines from a cross of Kefeng1 and Nannong1138-2 was studied under water-stressed (WS) and well-watered (WW) conditions in field (F) and greenhouse (G) trials, and DSI for yield was calculated in two trials. Nineteen QTLs associated with YP-WS and YP-WW, and 10 QTLs associated with DSI, were identified. Comparison of these QTL locations with previous findings showed that the majority of these regions control one or more traits related to yield and other agronomic traits. One QTL on molecular linkage group (MLG) K for YP-F, and two QTLs on MLG C2 for YP-G, remained constant across different water regimes. The regions on MLG C2 for YP-WW-F and MLG H for YP-WS-F had a pleiotropic effect on DSI-F, and MLG A1 for YP-WS-G had a pleiotropic effect on DSI-G. The identification of consistent QTLs for YP and DSI across different environments will significantly improve the efficiency of selecting for drought tolerance in soybean.
2009 Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology and the Genetics Society of China. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.