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Crop Biotech Update

Scientists Update Chinese Soybean Genome to Golden Reference

September 18, 2019

Biologists from China (Chinese Academy of Science, University of Science and Technology of China, Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and Berry Genomics Corporation) have previously de novo assembled a high-quality Chinese soybean genome—Gmax_ZH13. However, a large number of small contigs were not anchored onto chromosomes due to technical limitations.

Now, the leader research group Gmax_ZH13 genome project from the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology of the Chinese Academy of Science updated the Gmax_ZH13 genome to a golden reference genome named Gmax_ZH13_v2.0. Researchers assembled Gmax_ZH13_v2.0 with a length of 1,011,174,350 bp, and its assembly quality was increased dramatically. Compared to Gmax_ZH13, the Contig N50 size of Gmax_ZH13_v2.0 increased 6.5 times (from 3.46 Mb to 22.6 Mb), gap number decreased 1.8 times (from 815 to 448), and gap length decreased 8.8 times (from 20.49 Mb to 2.33Mb). The un-anchored contig number decreased 17 times (from 549 to 36), resulting in the ratio of sequences that anchored to 20 chromosomes reaching 98%. All these assembly parameters indicated the high completeness of Gmax_ZH13_v2.0.

The researchers also provided a detailed expression profiling for all protein coding genes and miRNAs they annotated, which will be helpful for fundamental research on soybeans. "We updated the Gmax_ZH13 genome to a more complete and continuous platinum reference genome Gmax_ZH13_ v2.0, did comprehensive annotation and provided detailed expression information for it," said Professor Zhixi Tian, the leader of the Gmax_ZH13 Chinese soybean genome project. "We believe that the new genome will greatly facilitate soybean fundamental research and molecular breeding."

For more details, read the research results in SCIENCE CHINA Life Sciences.

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