Chinese researchers have constructed a high-quality genome map of diverse soybean varieties, which could help improve soybean breeding and cultivation.
Researchers from the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences carried out in-depth resequencing and structural analysis on 2,898 soybean accessions from major soybean-producing countries in the world, and carefully selected 26 representative soybeans, including three wild soybeans, nine farm species and 14 modern cultivated varieties.
Then they assembled and accurately annotated the genomes of the 26 soybeans and constructed a high-quality graph-based soybean pan-genome, which contains almost all the genetic information of soybeans and includes the unique gene structure variation of some important varieties. The information could help analyze the regulation mechanism of important agronomic traits such as the brightness and color change of soybean seed coats.
Tian Zhixi, one of the researchers, said the construction of a graph-based soybean pan-genome offers more comprehensive information on the genome sequence and genetic variation compared with traditional methods that use a single genome to obtain the genetic information of a species.
Genome resources that can represent different soybeans are key for China's efforts in the molecular design breeding of soybeans, according to the research team.
The research was published in the journal Cell. (Xinhua)