Salt-affected soils are generally classified into two main categories: saline and sodic (alkaline). Developing and using soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr) cultivars with high salt tolerance is an effective way of maintaining sustainable production in areas where soybean growth is threatened by salt stress. Early classical genetics studies revealed that saline tolerance was conditioned by a single dominant gene. Recently, a series of studies consistently revealed a major quantitative trait locus (QTL) for saline tolerance located on linkage group N (chromosome 3) around the SSR markers Satt255 and Sat_091; other minor QTLs were also reported. In the case of sodic tolerance, most studies focused on iron deficiency caused by a high soil pH, and several QTLs associated with iron deficiency were identified. A wild soybean (Glycine soja Sieb. & Zucc.) accession with high sodic tolerance was recently identified, and a significant QTL for sodic tolerance was detected on linkage group D2 (chromosome 17). These studies demonstrated that saline and sodic tolerances were controlled by different genes in soybean. DNA markers closely associated with these QTLs can be used for marker-assisted selection to pyramid tolerance genes in soybean for both saline and sodic stresses.
Keywords: Glycine max; Glycine soja; genetic study; saline; sodic; tolerance.