Salinity tolerance in Soybeans

28 February 2015 - By: Jim Ruddock

Salinity tolerance in soybean is modulated by natural variation in GmSALT3 


By Jim Ruddock 

The Plant Journal, Vol 80, pages 937–950, Rongxia Guan, Yue Qu, Yong Guo, Lili Yu, Ying Liu, Jinghan Jiang, Jiangang Chen, Yulong Ren, Guangyu Liu, Lei Tian, Longguo Jin, Zhangxiong Liu, Huilong Hong, Ruzhen Chang, Matthew Gilliham and Lijuan Qiu doi/10.1111/tpj.12695/abstract 

Soybean is a one of the globe’s most important agricultural crops. However, relative to other crops, little is known about its intrinsic ability to tolerate stress. The identification of genes that improve the salt tolerance of crops is essential for the effective utilisation of saline soils for agriculture.

In this manuscript, Guan et al used fine mapping in a soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) population derived from the commercial cultivars Tiefeng 8 and 85–140 to identify the gene (GmSALT3) underlying its major salt tolerance quantitative trait locus. Analysis of 172 Chinese soybean landraces and 57 wild soybeans uncovered nine haplotypes for this gene and demonstrated that Haplotype 1 was strongly associated with salt tolerance, it was also the most commonly found allele in soybean in regions of China known for their saline soils.

Seven of the other alleles were salt sensitive and were not commonly found in areas of China with saline soils. The low genetic diversity of the salt tolerant allele suggested that it was strongly favoured during natural and/or artificial selection, and that it is likely to be the ancestral allele. Alleles H2–H6, H8 and H9, which did not confer salinity tolerance, were acquired more recently. H1, unlike other alleles, has a wide geographical range including saline areas, which indicates it is maintained when required but its potent stress tolerance can be lost during natural selection and domestication.

Thus, Guan et al believe this study highlights that important tolerance genes can be easily lost from modern breeding lines in the absence of selection pressure, and that GmSALT3 is a major gene for salt tolerance in soybean that will be important for future germplasm development. 

Category: Plant Biology
Jim Ruddock - Author Profile

Jim Ruddock

Jim Ruddock is the Editorial Manager for The Plant Journal and Plant Biotechnology Journal, and manages all processes of each journal through the peer review system – from submission to acceptance and export of final files to the Production department. Currently at Wiley, Jim has 23 year’s of experience working in science journal publishing environments in various capacities.