Soybean is one of the most important agricultural crops in the world, providing substantial amounts of both protein and oil for foods, and also serving as a significant resource for producing biodiesel fuel. In the January 14, 2010, issue of Nature, researchers at the Joint Genome Institute (JGI) report the complete genome sequence of soybean. Over 46,000 protein-coding genes were identified in the billion base pair genome, with nearly 75% of these genes present in multiple copies. Research that will be enabled using the soybean genome is expect to have a significant impact not only on agriculture but also on efforts to improve yields of soybean oil for conversion into diesel fuels. The newly published genomic information will serve as the reference with which to study all beans and other legumes, offering insights into important traits such as nitrogen fixation.
Reference: Schmutz J, Cannon SB, Schlueter J, Ma J, Hyten D, Song Q, Mitros T, Nelson W, May GD, Gill N, Peto M, Goodstein D, Thelen JJ, Cheng J, Sakurai T, Umezawa T, Du J, Bhattacharyya M, Sandhu D, Grant D, Joshi T, Libault M, Zhang X-C, Xu D, Futrell-Griggs M, Abernathy B, Hellsten U, Berry K, Grimwood J, Wing RA, Cregan P, Stacey G, Specht J, Rokhsar D, Shoemaker RC, and Jackson SA. 2010. Genome sequence of the paleopolyploid soybean (Glycine max, (L.) Merr.). Nature.
Contact: Cathy Ronning, SC-23.2, (301) 903-9549, Dan Drell, SC-23.2, (301) 903-4742
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