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Friday, January 18, 2008

Soybean Genome

A preliminary draft of the soybean (Glycine max) genome has been released on the Phytozome website [Glycine max Genome].

The reported size of the genome is 950 Mb (950 × 106 base pairs). This is considerably larger that the genomes of grape (505 Mb), Arabidopsis (157 Mb), rice (389 Mb), and polar (485 Mb).

The larger size suggests a recent polyploidization event in the lineage leading to soybean. The number of genes in the draft sequence is 51,320. This also suggests that many genes are duplicated. (Grape has about 30,000 genes, poplar has about 45,000, rice has 38,000 and Arabidopsis has only 27,029.) Keep in mind that the total number of genes is likely to drop by a considerable amount once detailed annotation gets underway. Nevertheless, it looks like the soybean has a lot more genes than the other flowering plants.

[Photo Credit: [Photograph]. Retrieved January 18, 2008, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online: bean: soybean]


  1. Yes, however Arabidopsis is also an ancient polyploid despite the small genome size.

  2. I fully intended to write "recent" polyploidization event. In fact, I thought I did write it but apparently I was wrong.

    I've now added the adjective.

    I discussed the more ancient genome duplications in previous postings.