Submitted to: Grain Legumes
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 2012
Publication Date: January 1, 2013
Citation: Shoemaker, R.C., Severin, A., Woody, J.L., Cannon, S.B., Graham, M.A. 2013. The future of soybean genomics is here. Grain Legumes. 1:16-18. Interpretive Summary: The size and complexity of the soybean hereditary material was considered to be an unwieldy impediment to decoding and analyzing the entire genome. However, through a joint effort of DOE, USDA, and various universities successful decoding and assembly of the genome occurred. In this article the authors review the composition and structural make-up of the genome. They review the evolutionary events that created the complexity of the genome and talk about possible future genomic efforts to enhance soybean breeding efforts. This report is important for legume researchers and students who are not intimately familiar with soybean genomics but who are interested in legume research.
Technical Abstract: The whole-genome sequence of soybean has revealed more than 46,000 genes and 38,000 transposable elements. Analysis of the assembled genome has shown that soybean has undergone multiple large-scale duplication events, making it an ancient paleopolyploid. Next-generation sequencing is permitting analysis of the entire transcriptome. This analysis has uncovered relationships among gene and intergenic structural features and depth and breadth of gene expression. Resequencing strategies are discussed that would permit scientists to visualize 'breeder signatures' left behind during the development of milestone cultivars. A brief discussion of epigenetic alterations in the genome is presented, as well as an overview of genomics for marker development and analysis of quantitative trait loci.