Scientists have sequenced the genome of the soybean plant, Glycine max, an important agricultural crop. As reported in the journal Nature1, the sequencing was accomplished through collaborative work between scientists in the United States and at the RIKEN Plant Science Center in Yokohama.
Soybeans are an important food source for humans, since they are used to produce foods such as soy sauce and tofu, as well as to make vegetable oil for cooking. But soybeans also are an important component of animal feed throughout the world, and play a key ecological role in taking nitrogen from the air and putting it back into the soil.
From their analysis of the 20 chromosomes of the soybean plant, the researchers predict that there are over 46,000 genes, more than double the number of genes in humans. Consistent with the known genome duplication of the soybean at two different points in its evolution, the geneticists identified many blocks of genes, corresponding to three-quarters of the soybean’s 46,000 genes. These blocks were found more than once across the genome, including across different chromosomes.
The existence of multiple copies of a gene within a genome may allow for genetic diversity if some of those copies mutate in such a way that they take on novel functions, or so that their expression can be controlled separately under different environmental conditions. As an example of this, the researchers found double the number of fatty acid synthesis genes in the soybean genome than in Arabidopsis, a flowering plant that has not undergone genome expansions. This may explain why soybeans are such a good source of cooking oil, while Arabidopsis is not.
As soybean plants are sensitive to disease, such as Asian soybean rust, which lead to losses in agricultural yield that adversely affect the world food supply, farmers need disease-resistant varieties of this important crop. Soybean varieties that have high nutritional content, hardier seeds and plants, and easier reproduction would also be agriculturally attractive.
“The genome sequence opens the door to crop improvements that are needed for sustainable human and animal food production, energy production and environmental balance in agriculture worldwide,” write the authors.
The corresponding author for this highlight is based at the Integrated Genome Informatics Research Unit, RIKEN Plant Science Center
1. Schmutz, J., Cannon, S.B., Schlueter, J., Ma., J. Mitros, T., Nelson, W.,Hyten, D.L. Song, Q., Thelen, J.J. Cheng, J. et al. Genome sequence of the palaeopolyploid soybean. Nature 463, 178–183 (2010)
Saeko Okada | Research asia research news
Could this protein protect people against coronary artery disease?
17.11.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care
Microbial resident enables beetles to feed on a leafy diet
17.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine
17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses