Crop Science Laboratory, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Kyoto-city, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan; Research Fellow of Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Japan. Electronic address: [Email]
There is a large variation in CO2 assimilation rate per unit of leaf area (A) within or among crop species, which can be exploited to improve A by elucidating the mechanisms underlying such variation. The objective of the present study is to elucidate the genetic factors affecting the variation in leaf photosynthetic capacity among soybeans. Here, we conducted field experiments over three years, using Enrei, a leading variety in Japan, Peking, a landrace from China and the chromosome segment substitution lines derived from their progenies. The gas exchange measurements were conducted to evaluate A among soybean. Peking showed higher A than Enrei after the flowering in all the years. The genetic analysis identified two novel quantitative trait loci (QTLs) related to variation in A, which were located on chromosome 13 (qLPC13) and 20 (qLPC20). The Peking allele at qLPC13 increased A by 8.3 % in the Enrei genetic background, while the Peking allele at qLPC20 decreased A by 15.3 %. The present study is the first report on QTLs affecting a genotypic variation in leaf photosynthetic capacity among field-grown soybeans. The identification of the causal genes in these QTLs can provide a novel strategy to enhance leaf photosynthetic capacity with soybean breeding.