Background: Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) is the most economically devastating pathogen of soybean. Two resistance loci, Rhg1 and Rhg4 primarily contribute resistance to SCN race 3 in soybean. Peking and PI 88788 are the two major sources of SCN resistance with Peking requiring both Rhg1 and Rhg4 alleles and PI 88788 only the Rhg1 allele. Although simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers have been reported for both loci, they are linked markers and limited to be applied in breeding programs due to accuracy, throughput and cost of detection methods. The objectives of this study were to develop robust functional marker assays for high-throughput selection of SCN resistance and to differentiate the sources of resistance.
Results: Based on the genomic DNA sequences of 27 soybean lines with known SCN phenotypes, we have developed Kompetitive Allele Specific PCR (KASP) assays for two Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from Glyma08g11490 for the selection of the Rhg4 resistance allele. Moreover, the genomic DNA of Glyma18g02590 at the Rhg1 locus from 11 soybean lines and cDNA of Forrest, Essex, Williams 82 and PI 88788 were fully sequenced. Pairwise sequence alignment revealed seven SNPs/insertion/deletions (InDels), five in the 6th exon and two in the last exon. Using the same 27 soybean lines, we identified one SNP that can be used to select the Rhg1 resistance allele and another SNP that can be employed to differentiate Peking and PI 88788-type resistance. These SNP markers have been validated and a strong correlation was observed between the SNP genotypes and reactions to SCN race 3 using a panel of 153 soybean lines, as well as a bi-parental population, F5-derived recombinant inbred lines (RILs) from G00-3213xLG04-6000.
Conclusions: Three functional SNP markers (two for Rhg1 locus and one for Rhg4 locus) were identified that could provide genotype information for the selection of SCN resistance and differentiate Peking from PI 88788 source for most germplasm lines. The robust KASP SNP marker assays were developed. In most contexts, use of one or two of these markers is sufficient for high-throughput marker-assisted selection of plants that will exhibit SCN resistance.