Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Decoding the soybean genome

The newly sequenced genome of the soybean could allow for the development of hardier plants

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

Journal information

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
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>