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Plant Physiol. 2009 Nov;151(3):1167-74. doi: 10.1104/pp.109.137935. Epub 2009 Jul 15.

Molecular and chromosomal evidence for allopolyploidy in soybean.

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  • 1Department of Agronomy, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, USA.


Recent studies have documented that the soybean (Glycine max) genome has undergone two rounds of large-scale genome and/or segmental duplication. To shed light on the timing and nature of these duplication events, we characterized and analyzed two subfamilies of high-copy centromeric satellite repeats, CentGm-1 and CentGm-2, using a combination of computational and molecular cytogenetic approaches. These two subfamilies of satellite repeats mark distinct subsets of soybean centromeres and, in at least one case, a pair of homologs, suggesting their origins from an allopolyploid event. The satellite monomers of each subfamily are arranged in large tandem arrays, and intermingled monomers of the two subfamilies were not detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization on extended DNA fibers nor at the sequence level. This indicates that there has been little recombination and homogenization of satellite DNA between these two sets of centromeres. These satellite repeats are also present in Glycine soja, the proposed wild progenitor of soybean, but could not be detected in any other relatives of soybean examined in this study, suggesting the rapid divergence of the centromeric satellite DNA within the Glycine genus. Together, these observations provide direct evidence, at molecular and chromosomal levels, in support of the hypothesis that the soybean genome has experienced a recent allopolyploidization event.

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