Flooding is a frequent environmental stress that reduces soybean (Glycine max) growth and grain yield in many producing areas in the world, such as, e.g., in the United States, Southeast Asia and Southern Brazil. In these regions, soybean is frequently cultivated in lowland areas by rotating with rice (Oryza sativa), which provides numerous technical, economic and environmental benefits. Given these realities, this work aimed to characterize physiological responses, identify genes differentially expressed under flooding stress in Brazilian soybean genotypes with contrasting flooding tolerance, and select SNPs with potential use for marker-assisted selection. Soybean cultivars TECIRGA 6070 (flooding tolerant) and FUNDACEP 62 (flooding sensitive) were grown up to the V6 growth stage and then flooding stress was imposed. Total RNA was extracted from leaves 24 h after the stress was imposed and sequenced. In total, 421 induced and 291 repressed genes were identified in both genotypes. TECIRGA 6070 presented 284 and 460 genes up- and down-regulated, respectively, under flooding conditions. Of those, 100 and 148 genes were exclusively up- and down-regulated, respectively, in the tolerant genotype. Based on the RNA sequencing data, SNPs in differentially expressed genes in response to flooding stress were identified. Finally, 38 SNPs, located in genes with functional annotation for response to abiotic stresses, were found in TECIRGA 6070 and absent in FUNDACEP 62. To validate them, 22 SNPs were selected for designing KASP assays that were used to genotype a panel of 11 contrasting genotypes with known phenotypes. In addition, the phenotypic and grain yield impacts were analyzed in four field experiments using a panel of 166 Brazilian soybean genotypes. Five SNPs possibly related to flooding tolerance in Brazilian soybean genotypes were identified. The information generated from this research will be useful to develop soybean genotypes adapted to poorly drained soils or areas subject to flooding.
- abiotic stress
- molecular markers