"Soybean is the one of the largest and most complex plant genomes sequenced by the whole genome shotgun strategy," noted Rokhsar. The process entails shearing the DNA into small fragments enabling the order of the nucleotides to be read and interpreted. Steven Cannon of the USDA-ARS collaborated with the DOE team to ensure the accuracy of the assembly.
Preliminary scientific details emerging from the sequence analysis will be presented by Schmutz at the International Conference on Legume Genomics and Genetics in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, December 8, 2008. The soybean genome sequence information can be browsed at http://www.phytozome.net/soybean.
Schmutz and colleagues have begun to analyze the soybean genome, which at one billion nucleotides is roughly one-third the size of the human genome. Preliminary studies suggest as many as 66,000 genesmore than twice the number identified in the human genome sequence, and nearly half-again as many as the poplar genome, sequenced by DOE JGI and published in the journal Science in 2006.
"We have ordered and localized about 5,500 genetic markers on the sequence, which promise to be of particular importance to those researchers seeking to optimize certain qualities in soybean," said Schmutz. Thousands of these markers were developed by Perry Cregan and colleagues of the USDA-ARS with support of the United Soybean Board. A genetic marker represents a known location on a chromosome that can be associated with a particular gene or trait. Prospective genome pathways of interest are those that directly influence yield, oil and protein content, as well as drought tolerance and resistance to nematodes and diseases such a
|Contact: David Gilbert|
DOE/Joint Genome Institute