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Natural variation at the soybean J locus improves adaptation to the tropics and enhances yield

Lu, S, Zhao, X, Hu, Y, Liu, S, Nan, H, Li, Xiaoming, Fang, C, Cao, D, Shi, X, Kong, L, Su, T, Zhang, F, Li, S, Wang, Z, Yuan, X, Cober, ER, Weller, JL ORCID: 0000-0003-2423-8286, Liu, B, Hou, X, Tian, Z and Kong, F 2017 , 'Natural variation at the soybean J locus improves adaptation to the tropics and enhances yield' , Nature Genetics, vol. 49, no. 5 , pp. 773-779 , doi: 10.1038/ng.3819.

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Abstract

Soybean is a major legume crop originating in temperate regions, and photoperiod responsiveness is a key factor in its latitudinal adaptation. Varieties from temperate regions introduced to lower latitudes mature early and have extremely low grain yields. Introduction of the long-juvenile (LJ) trait extends the vegetative phase and improves yield under short-day conditions, thereby enabling expansion of cultivation in tropical regions. Here we report the cloning and characterization of J, the major classical locus conferring the LJ trait, and identify J as the ortholog of Arabidopsis thaliana EARLY FLOWERING 3 (ELF3). J depends genetically on the legume-specific flowering repressor E1, and J protein physically associates with the E1 promoter to downregulate its transcription, relieving repression of two important FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) genes and promoting flowering under short days. Our findings identify an important new component in flowering-time control in soybean and provide new insight into soybean adaptation to tropical regions.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Lu, S and Zhao, X and Hu, Y and Liu, S and Nan, H and Li, Xiaoming and Fang, C and Cao, D and Shi, X and Kong, L and Su, T and Zhang, F and Li, S and Wang, Z and Yuan, X and Cober, ER and Weller, JL and Liu, B and Hou, X and Tian, Z and Kong, F
Keywords: soybean, J locus, yield, tropics, genetic adaptation, variation, legume crops, ELF3
Journal or Publication Title: Nature Genetics
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 1061-4036
DOI / ID Number: 10.1038/ng.3819
Copyright Information:

© 2017 Nature America

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