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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 1 (2001), Issue 1, Pages 38-44
Research article

Genomic Regions That Underlie Soybean Seed Isoflavone Content

1Department of Plant, Soil and General Agriculture, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Ag Building Room 176, Carbondale 62901-4415, IL, USA
2Department of Animal Science, Food and Nutrition, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Carbondale 62901-4417, IL, USA

Copyright © 2001 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Soy products contain isoflavones (genistein, daidzein, and glycitein) that display biological effects when ingested by humans and animals, these effects are species, dose and age dependent. Therefore, the content and quality of isoflavones in soybeans is a key to their biological effect. Our objective was to identify loci that underlie isoflavone content in soybean seeds. The study involved 100 recombinant inbred lines (RIL) from the cross of ‘Essex’ by ‘Forrest,’ two cultivars that contrast for isoflavone content. Isoflavone content of seeds from each RIL was determined by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The distribution of isoflavone content was continuous and unimodal. The heritability estimates on a line mean basis were 79% for daidzein, 22% for genistein, and 88% for glycitein. Isoflavone content of soybean seeds was compared against 150 polymorphic DNA markers in a one-way analysis of variance. Four genomic regions were found to be significantly associated with the isoflavone content of soybean seeds across both locations and years. Molecular linkage group B1 contained a major QTL underlying glycitein content (P=0.0001,R2=50.2%), linkage group N contained a QTL for glycitein (P=0.0033,R2=11.1%) and a QTL for daidzein (P=0.0023,R2=10.3%) and linkage group A1 contained a QTL for daidzein (P=0.0081,R2=9.6%). Selection for these chromosomal regions in a marker assisted selection program will allow for the manipulation of amounts and profiles of isoflavones (genistein, daidzein, and glycitein) content of soybean seeds. In addition, tightly linked markers can be used in map based cloning of genes associated with isoflavone content.