Key Laboratory of Dryland Agriculture, Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development in Agriculture, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, 100081, China. Electronic address: [Email]
Wild soybean (Glycine soja) and cultivated soybean (Glycine max) belong to the subgenus Soja. We investigated the photosynthetic activity, mineral nutrition and metabolomics of the salt-tolerant wild soybean (W2), salt-sensitive wild soybean (W1) and cultivated soybean (C) in the early flowering stage, with a focus on the physiological and cellular metabolism-related differences among Soja to reveal the adaptive mechanisms. The photosynthetic activity of W2 was greater than that of W1 and the Mg, Zn, Mo, Mn and B contents showed the same trend. Carbohydrate, polyol, organic acid and fatty acid contents, as well as the secondary metabolism, were greater in W2 than W1, while the amino acid metabolism was lower in W2 than W1. These levels could minimize damage and maximize survival and growth, which might be the mechanisms that W2 adapts under adverse environmental conditions. The photosynthetic activity of C was greater than that of W1 and C also contained more K, Zn and B. The metabolomics study indicated that carbohydrate and organic acid metabolism were relatively greater, while the amino acid content and secondary metabolism level were lower in C than W1. These were presumably the result of long-term breeding and domestication. This comparative study among Soja will help in increasing the understanding and protection of wild soybean resources, as well as the improvement and utilization of cultivated soybean.