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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » Corn Insects and Crop Genetics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #319981

Title: Soybean functional genomics: Bridging the genotype to phenotype gap

item O`Rourke, Jamie
item Graham, Michelle
item WHITHAM, STEVEN - Iowa State University

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/23/2016
Publication Date: 9/22/2017
Citation: O'Rourke, J.A., Graham, M.A., Whitham, S. 2017. Soybean functional genomics: Bridging the genotype to phenotype gap. In: Nguyen H., Bhattacharyya M., editors. The Soybean Genome. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International. p.151-170.

Interpretive Summary: Scientists working on soybean improvement need to better understand the impact of DNA changes on plant performance under different growth conditions. Recent advances in genomics have allowed us to measure the activity, structure, and function of genes controlling simple traits. Various molecular techniques have been developed to investigate the role of candidate genes including altering or removing gene sequences or changing gene expression patterns. Plants are evaluated to determine how these changes affect the trait of interest. However, many important traits including drought tolerance, yield, and protein/oil content involve multiple genes regulating complex processes. The challenge remains in identifying these genes and evaluating their impact on plant performance. This review describes the experimental processes and highlights experiments that have used these techniques to study how changes in the soybean genome results in a plant with different characteristics. Future technological innovations to improve plant performance are also discussed.

Technical Abstract: Technological advances coupled with the economic importance of soybean as a major crop has led to increased efforts to understand the functions of its genes and associate them with phenotypes of agronomic and scientific interest. Functional genomics approaches aim to develop sufficient understanding needed to bridge the genotype to phenotype gap. In general terms, functional genomic approaches begin by using highly parallelized methods to analyze genomes, transcriptomes, proteomes, and metabolomes to develop hypotheses about genes that control phenotypes. Candidate genes are then tested for their contributions to phenotypes through various methods such as RNA silencing, genetic mutation, or over-expression. In this review, we discuss the current approaches, tools, and resources that are available or being developed for functional genomics applications in soybean.