Wednesday, November 15, 2006 - 8:15 AM

Genetic Divergence and Relatedness of Historical Soybean Cultivars Assessed by AFLP Markers.

Pengyin Chen1, Brian Cornelious2, Chunda Feng1, Anfu Hou1, Leandro Mozzoni1, Ainong Shi1, and Bo Zhang1. (1) Department of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701, (2) Mertec, LLC., 5312 I-55, Marion, AR 72364

History of soybean cultivars in Arkansas can be traced back to 1928 when the first cultivar ‘Arksoy’ was released. Numerous improved cultivars have been developed since then, however, pedigree analysis indicates that they have narrow ancestral genetic background. A better understanding of the genetic diversity among the historically popular cultivars at the molecular level will be beneficial to future soybean breeding effort. Thirty eight soybean cultivars widely grown in Arkansas were evaluated for their genetic divergence and relatedness with AFLP markers and compared with a wild type soybean and a Chinese cultivar. A total of 836 bands were amplified with 16 primer combinations. While 406 bands were common in all 38 cultivars, 34 unique bands were detected. There were 33 unique bands present in G. soja ‘PI407046’, while 8 specific bands were present or absent in a Chinese cv. ‘Jiunong 12’. Cultivars developed before 1950s were more genetically distant from each other, compared to those developed in 1950s and 1960s. Genetic diversity increased in cultivars released during 1970s and 1980s, but decreased in 1990s and 2000s. Detailed genetic relationships among Arkansas historical cultivars will be presented.