A significant effort to sequence a large number of soybean germplasm lines in the U.S. is underway.  This project, titled “Large Scale Sequencing of Germplasm to Develop Genomic Resources for Soybean Improvement”, is being funded by the United Soybean Board and three private companies:  Bayer CropScience, DOW AgroSciences, LLC, and Monsanto.  Henry Nguyen’s Laboratory at the University of Missouri is coordinating this research.  This is the first large-scale public-private partnership of this magnitude in the soybean genetic research arena.  The results of this project will lay the groundwork for future soybean genetic and breeding research.

As part of this project, the southern U.S. soybean cultivar “Lee” (PI 548656) was selected for sequencing to create a second reference genome in soybean.  This will complement the first reference genome, “Williams82”, that was chosen to represent the northern U.S. germplasm.

The data being generated by this project will benefit the soybean community and allow both public and private soybean breeders and researchers resources that they can use to improve soybean varieties for U.S. farmers.  The most diverse soybean lines in the U.S. germplasm collection were selected for sequencing.  The list of soybean lines that have been sequenced is available at SoyBase (http://soybase.org/), SoyKB (http://soykb.org/), and the Nguyen Lab Website (http://soybeangenomics.missouri.edu/news/).