Agronomy and Horticulture Department



D. L. Hyten

Date of this Version



The Plant Cell, Vol. 22: 2545–2561, August 2010,


Soybean (Glycine max) has undergone at least two rounds of polyploidization, resulting in a paleopolyploid genome that is a mosaic of homoeologous regions. To determine the structural and functional impact of these duplications, we sequenced two ~1-Mb homoeologous regions of soybean, Gm8 and Gm15, derived from the most recent ~13 million year duplication event and the orthologous region from common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), Pv5. We observed inversions leading to major structural variation and a bias between the two chromosome segments as Gm15 experienced more gene movement (gene retention rate of 81% in Gm15 versus 91% in Gm8) and a nearly twofold increase in the deletion of long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons via solo LTR formation. Functional analyses of Gm15 and Gm8 revealed decreases in gene expression and synonymous substitution rates for Gm15, for instance, a 38% increase in transcript levels from Gm8 relative to Gm15. Transcriptional divergence of homoeologs was found based on expression patterns among seven tissues and developmental stages. Our results indicate asymmetric evolution between homoeologous regions of soybean as evidenced by structural changes and expression variances of homoeologous genes.