A new released Chinese soybean genome facilitates soybean elite cultivar improvement | Digital Science
Soybean (Glycine max [L.] Merr.) is one of the most important crops, providing more than half of global oilseed production and more than a quarter of the world’s protein for food and animal feed. Studies have indicated that the cultivated soybean was domesticated in China approximately 5,000 years ago and then disseminated worldwide. During the introduction and dissemination process, soybean has undergone strictly genetic bottlenecks, resulting in the accessions from different geographic areas possibly exhibiting high genetic diversity. The current soybean reference genome was sequenced from Williams 82, which is a cultivar domesticated in America. Asia is one of the largest soybean planting and consuming areas, its soybean production is essential for global food security. A high-quality reference genome is crucial for functional analysis of a species. Therefore, it is necessary to assemble a new high-quality soybean genome from Asian soybean accessions to facilitate Asia soybean functional genomics study and elite cultivar improvement.