Navigation Links
Gene discovery may lead to new varieties of soybean plants

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Just months after the soybean genome was sequenced, a Purdue University scientist has discovered a long-sought gene that controls the plant's main stem growth and could lead to the creation of new types of soybean plants that will allow producers to incorporate desired characteristics into their local varieties.

Jianxin Ma (Jen-Shin Ma), an assistant professor of agronomy, used the research model plant Arabidopsis thaliana to discover the soybean gene that controls whether the plant's stem continues to grow after flowering. The find is a significant key to diversifying the types of soybeans growers can produce all over the world.

"The approach that we used in this study proves to be promising for rapid gene discovery and characterization in soybean," said Ma, whose findings were published Monday (April 26) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. "With the genomic resources and information available, we spent only six months pinpointing and confirming the candidate gene - the time it takes to grow one generation of soybean."

Soybean plants generally fall into two categories: determinate plants whose main stem tips stop growing after flowering, and indeterminate plants that continue main stem growth after flowering. In the United States, indeterminate soybeans are grown in the northern states, while determinate are grown in the southern states, Ma said. A northern U.S. grower who may want the characteristics found only in a type of determinate soybean would not be able to successfully grow a determinant cultivar in the north.

Ma was able compare the gene known to control Arabidopsis thaliana's stem growth pattern with the soybean genome to identify four soybean candidate genes. Those genes were then sequenced in a sample of different families of soybeans, including Glycine soja, a wild type of soybean; Glycine max landraces, which were varieties developed through selection in Asia thousands of years ago; and elite cultivars, which are grown today in the United States.

A single base-pair nucleotide mutation in the gene Dt1 was found to be the reason some plants are determinate.

"Wild soybeans are all indeterminate. This mutation that makes them determinate was selected by ancient farmers a few thousand years ago," Ma said. "It seems determinate stem was a favorable characteristic for ancient farmers."

Ma tested the find by using an indeterminate soybean Dt1 gene to change an Arabidopsis thaliana plant from determinate to indeterminate.

Ma believes that ancient farmers selected determinate plants that stay relatively short because they are less likely to lodge, or bend at the stem.

"Their appearance probably resulted in an ancient 'green revolution' in soybean cultivation in the southern parts of ancient China," Ma said.

Ma collaborated with Lijuan Oiu at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Phil McClean at North Dakota State University, Randy Nelson at the University of Illinois and Jim Specht at the University of Nebraska.

Ma said he would next try to find a gene that makes soybeans semi-determinate. The National Science Foundation, Indiana Soybean Alliance and Purdue University funded his work.


Contact: Brian Wallheimer
Purdue University

Related biology news :

1. Discovery may help defang viruses
2. Stomach stem cell discovery could bring cancer insights
3. Symposium marks 30th anniversary of discovery of third domain of life
4. Emory paleontologist reports discovery of carnivorous dinosaur tracks in Australia
5. Natural product discovery by Cleveland medical researchers blocks tissue destruction
6. Researchers discovery may lead to hypertension treatment
7. Yale discovery suggests protein may play a role in severe asthma
8. Galapagos and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics announce drug discovery collaboration
9. Profound immune system discovery opens door to halting destruction of lupus
10. Scripps Research discovery leads to broad potential applications in CovX-Pfizer deal
11. New discovery could reduce the health risk of high-fat foods
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Gene discovery may lead to new varieties of soybean plants
(Date:11/12/2015)... 11, 2015   Growing need for low-cost, ... has been paving the way for use of ... discrete analytes in clinical, agricultural, environmental, food and ... used in medical applications, however, their adoption is ... to continuous emphasis on improving product quality and ...
(Date:11/10/2015)... Nov. 10, 2015 About ... that helps to identify and verify the identity ... considered as the secure and accurate method of ... a particular individual because each individual,s signature is ... especially when dynamic signature of an individual is ...
(Date:11/4/2015)... ALBANY, New York , November 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... According to a new market report published by Transparency ... Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2015 - 2022", ... value of US$ 30.3 bn by 2022. The market ... during the forecast period from 2015 to 2022. Rising ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... November 25, 2015 Studies reveal ... human plaque and pave the way for more effective treatment ... cats     --> ... diagnosed health problems in cats, yet relatively little was understood ... collaborative studies have been conducted by researchers from the WALTHAM ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015 Orexigen® Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... a fireside chat discussion at the Piper Jaffray 27th ... . The discussion is scheduled for Wednesday, December 2, ... .  A replay will be available for 14 days ... , Julie NormartVP, Corporate Communications and Business Development , ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 Cepheid (NASDAQ: CPHD ) today ... following conference, and invited investors to participate via webcast. ...      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 11.00 a.m. Eastern Time ...      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 11.00 a.m. Eastern Time ... New York, NY      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ:  AEZS) (TSX: ... behalf of the Toronto Stock Exchange, confirms that as ... no corporate developments that would cause the recent movements ... --> About Aeterna Zentaris Inc. ... --> Aeterna Zentaris is a specialty biopharmaceutical company ...
Breaking Biology Technology: