Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers fight world hunger by mapping the soybean genome

Date:
February 1, 2010
Source:
University of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
A team of researchers recently completed a study identifying 1.1 million base pairs of DNA in the soybean genome, including more than 90 distinct traits that affect plant development, productive characteristics, disease resistance, seed quality and nutrition, which could lead to extensive crop improvements.

In 2009, soybeans represented an almost $30 billion industry in the U.S. alone, making soybeans the second-most profitable crop next to corn. Worldwide, soybeans have been used in human foods and livestock feed for centuries and have been a key component in industrial products, such as plastics and soy biodiesel, an environmentally friendly fuel.

Related Articles


A team of researchers, including University of Missouri researchers, recently completed a study identifying 1.1 million base pairs of DNA in the soybean genome, including more than 90 distinct traits that affect plant development, productive characteristics, disease resistance, seed quality and nutrition, which could lead to extensive crop improvements.

"The genome sequence will be a new tool for plant breeders, industrial engineers, geneticists, biochemists, technologists, nutritionists and anyone else who uses soybeans worldwide," said Henry Nguyen, director of the National Center for Soybean Biotechnology at the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. "With knowledge of which genes control which soybean traits, scientists may be able to better adapt the plant to drought conditions, bringing a new cash crop and food product to poor areas of the Earth."

Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, MU scientists, in collaboration with researchers at other institutions, mapped the soybean genome to make crop improvements and provide a key reference for more than 20,000 different species of plants. Nguyen already has begun collaborating with animal science and nutrition experts to modify soybeans added to animal feeds that could increase the health value of meat. Specifically, he is looking at ways to impart certain antioxidants that are known to decrease the frequency of cancer, and proteins from soybeans into the meat. Nguyen also is studying the root system of soybeans and how they respond to drought. He's pinpointing which proteins or genes contribute to drought tolerance.

"Perhaps the most exciting thing that we have found for the soybean community is the gene that confirms resistance to the devastating Asian Soybean Rust disease," Nguyen said. "In countries where this rust is well established, soybean losses can range from 10 to 80 percent. Improved soybean strains resistant to the disease will greatly benefit production and increase foodstuffs around the world."

In addition to mapping the soybean genome, MU scientists have created a database of soybean transcription factors, which regulate the expression of genes and can turn genes on or off. The database, SoybeanDB, can be accessed through a web server and contains information such as protein sequences, protein family classifications and web links to other protein databases.

The genome research has been published in the January issue of Nature magazine, and Nguyen's research on soybean drought-tolerance has been published in Plant, Cell and Environment. Faculty members from the MU College of Agriculture Food and Natural Resources, College of Engineering and the Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center contributed to the study. Nguyen was recently elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for his research contributions in plant genetics and genomics and the national and international recognition of his research and leadership in plant abiotic stress, most notably in drought tolerance.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Missouri-Columbia. "Researchers fight world hunger by mapping the soybean genome." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100201113803.htm>.
University of Missouri-Columbia. (2010, February 1). Researchers fight world hunger by mapping the soybean genome. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100201113803.htm
University of Missouri-Columbia. "Researchers fight world hunger by mapping the soybean genome." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100201113803.htm (accessed April 21, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deepwater And Dolphins: The Oil Spill's Impact 5 Years On

Deepwater And Dolphins: The Oil Spill's Impact 5 Years On

Newsy (Apr. 20, 2015) Five years on, the possible environmental impact of the Deepwater Horizon spill includes a sustained die-off of bottlenose dolphins, among others. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Five Years Later, the BP Oil Spill Is Still Taking Its Toll

Five Years Later, the BP Oil Spill Is Still Taking Its Toll

AFP (Apr. 20, 2015) On April 20, 2010, an explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico started the biggest oil spill in US history. BP recently reported the Gulf is recovering well, but scientists paint a different picture. Duration: 02:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thai Customs Seize African Elephant Tusks Worth $6 Mn

Thai Customs Seize African Elephant Tusks Worth $6 Mn

AFP (Apr. 20, 2015) Thai customs seize four tonnes of African elephant ivory worth $6 million at a Bangkok port in a container labelled as beans. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 17, 2015) A truck carrying honey bees overturns near Lynnwood, Washington, spreading boxes of live bees across the highway. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins