Population genetic structure of Japanese wild soybean (Glycine soja) based on microsatellite variation


Duncan A. Vaughan, Fax: 81 298 387408; E-mail: duncan@affrc.go.jp


The research objectives were to determine aspects of the population dynamics relevant to effective monitoring of gene flow in the soybean crop complex in Japan. Using 20 microsatellite primers, 616 individuals from 77 wild soybean (Glycine soja) populations were analysed. All samples were of small seed size (< 0.03 g), were directly collected in the field and came from all parts of Japan where wild soybeans grow, except Hokkaido. Japanese wild soybean showed significant reduction in observed heterozygosity, low outcrossing rate (mean 3.4%) and strong genetic differentiation among populations. However, the individual assignment test revealed evidence of rare long-distance seed dispersal (> 10 km) events among populations, and spatial autocorrelation analysis revealed that populations within a radius of 100 km showed a close genetic relationship to one another. When analysis of graphical ordination was applied to compare the microsatellite variation of wild soybean with that of 53 widely grown Japanese varieties of cultivated soybean (Glycine max), the primary factor of genetic differentiation was based on differences between wild and cultivated soybeans and the secondary factor was geographical differentiation of wild soybean populations. Admixture analysis revealed that 6.8% of individuals appear to show introgression from cultivated soybeans. These results indicated that population genetic structure of Japanese wild soybean is (i) strongly affected by the founder effect due to seed dispersal and inbreeding strategy, (ii) generally well differentiated from cultivated soybean, but (iii) introgression from cultivated soybean occurs. The implications of the results for the release of transgenic soybeans where wild soybeans grow are discussed.