Submitted to: Agbiotech News and Information
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: December 15, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The soybean is one of the world's major source of protein and oil. An understanding of the hereditary mechanisms controlling this crop is necessary for improving it. Through cooperation and support of commodity boards and government granting agencies, major research efforts have been initiated. In this report the author summarizes the last decade of genetic cresearch in soybean and describes the efforts to take place during the nex five years. Analysis of soybean genetics has advanced from studying whole chromosomes to pin-pointing specific spots on chromosomes that are important. The genetic road map of soybean has become many fold more detailed and molecular markers are now available for many important traits. The soybean growers and governmental agencies have begun work together to determine how the chromosomes are put together to determine the function of many previously unknown genes. This may provide researchers with a means to control expression of important genes and may help to identify new products for soybeans.
Technical Abstract: The last 13 years have seen a burgeoning in our knowledge of soybean genetics and in the breadth of tools available to study this fascinating genome. The ancient polyploidy of the genome makes its study difficult but rewarding. Genetic roadmaps containing nearly 2,000 markers have been developed, numerous traits of agronomic importance have been located adjacent to these markers, and special DNA clone libraries have been constructed which have the potential to contain every gene in the soybean genome. Recent funding from the commodity boards as well as from the National Science Foundation will ensure that the genetic code of a high percentage of soybean genes will be determined and that we will begin to understand the function of these genes. In several years we expect to have a complete physical map of the soybean chromosomes. Through interdisciplinary teamwork and an increase in funding we have an increasingly vast amount of genetic information upon which to draw in our efforts to increase soybean production and profitability.