Diversity studies in soybean (Glycine max (L.) merrill) and validation of shattering resistant markers for marker assisted selection

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Experiments were conducted to study the genetic diversity among soybean accessions from three different countries and also to validate the usefulness of SSR shattering resistant markers for marker-assisted selection in breeding for soybean shattering resistance in Ghana. In all, 36 soybean accessions from Ghana, Nigeria and Brazil were studied. A genetic diversity study was conducted using 20 soybean SSR markers via PCR and PAGE electrophoresis. Molecular data was scored and analysed using CLUSTER procedure in SAS version 9.2 (2007). Morphological characterisation based on qualitative and quantitative traits, were analysed using hierarchical cluster analysis and principal component analysis (PCA) procedures of SAS (2007). Validation of the three novel QTL (qPDH1) soybean SSR shattering resistant markers (SRM0, SRM1 and SRM2) was done by evaluating known shattering resistant and shattering susceptible parents and their F1 progenies with the markers on agarose gel. The 20 SSR markers grouped the germplasm into six clusters based on Jaccard similarity coefficient. Three morphological traits namely: plant height, number of seeds per pod and days to maturity were the most important traits that discriminated the germplasm into three clusters based on PCA biplot, which corresponded to their country of origin. The three resistant markers were successfully validated for their usefulness for breeding shattering resistance in the germplasm studied. It is recommended that these SSR shattering resistant markers be used as integral part for breeding for soybean shattering resistance in Ghana.
A Thesis Submitted to the Department Of Crop and Soil Sciences, Faculty Of Agriculture And Natural Resources, Kwame Nkrumah University Of Science and Technology, Kumasi, In Partial Fulfilment Of The Requirements For The Award Of Msc. Degree In Agronomy (Plant Breeding Option).