In 2007, soybean accounted for 56 percent of the world's oilseed production. James Specht, Professor at the University of Nebraska, said that this nitrogen-fixing legume crop offers the dual benefit of a seed high in protein and oilwith room for improvement. "With the advent of low-cost re-sequencing technologies, soybean scientists now have the means to identify sequence differences responsible for yield potentialthe most desired of all crop traits, but to date the most intractable."
"The soybean genome sequence will be a valuable resource for the basic researcher and soybean breeder alike," said Jim Collins, Assistant Director for the Biology Directorate at the NSF. Collins and Judith St. John of USDA Agricultural Research Service co-chair the Interagency Working Group on Plant Genomes, which oversees the National Plant Genome Initiative. "The close coordination between the DOE sequencing project and the NSF SoyMap project facilitated through the National Plant Genome Initiative has added value to the sequence and physical map resources for this important crop," Collins said.
The soybean genome project is already making its mark out in the field.
"It's tremendous that the soybean genome is out in the public's hands." Said Rick Stern, a New Jersey soybean farmer and chair of the Production Research program for the United Soybean Board (USB). "Now every breeder can go into this valuable library for the information that will help speed up the breeding process. It should cut traditional breeding time by half from the typical 15 years."
|Contact: David Gilbert|
DOE/Joint Genome Institute