Published in Journal of Plant Genome Sciences, Vol. 1 No. 2 (2012) at doi: 10.5147/jpgs.2012.0058


Drought affects soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] and other crops productivity in the US and other parts of the world. Relative water content (RWC) is an important indicator for plant water deficit tolerance (WDT). The objective of this study is to map quantitative trait loci (QTL) for RWC and several other leaf traits such as leaf dry weight (LDW), leaf fresh weight (LFW), and leaf turgid weight (LTW) in two soybean recombinant inbred line (RIL) populations, one derived from a cross of ‘Essex’ and ‘Forrest’ (ExF, n=94) and the other is derived from a cross of ‘PI 438489B’ and ‘Hamilton’ (PIxH, n=50). In the PIxH RIL population, eight QTL were identified and mapped on 6 different linkage groups (LGs) of the soybean genome. No QTL for LFW were identified in this population. In the ExF RIL population, 10 QTL were identified and mapped on 5 different LGs of soybean. Chromosome 18 (LG G) contains clusters of QTL for LFW, LTW, and RWC in the ExF RIL population. This same chromosome contains a QTL for RWC in the PIxH RIL population. The QTL found here are important to be included in breeding programs for soybean water deficit tolerance (WDT).