Monsanto and divergence sequence Soybean Cyst Nematode genome
ST LOUIS — Monsanto Company and Divergence, announced today they have completed the most comprehensive sequence of the soybean cyst nematode (SCN) genome to date, making it
the first available draft of this organism’s genome, today’s announcement by the companies represents a major advancement in the available research data on this crop pest.
Certain nematode species severely limit crop yields around the world, including in crops such as soybeans, corn, cotton and vegetables. SCN attacks roots of soybeans during the growing season
and today represents the most economically significant pest for U.S. soybean production. It is estimated that SCN annually causes approximately $1 billion of yield loss to the U.S. soybean
«Sequencing the SCN genome is a tremendous step forward in our process of developing a product to help farmers protect their soybean crops against a devastating pest,» said Steve
Padgette, Monsanto vice president of biotechnology. «As global demand for soy protein increases, it is critical that companies evaluate and invest in novel approaches to combat this
yield-robbing pest so farmers can get more yield out of every acre.»
The companies announced that the genome sequence will be made available to the public via the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) website. Interested parties can access this
information at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/.
NCBI creates public databases that house information like genome sequences to facilitate better understanding of molecular processes. The companies believe the sharing of this data, subject to
Monsanto and Divergence intellectual property rights, will be an important step forward in research on this parasite.
«We anticipate that sharing this sequence on the NCBI database will spur additional innovation in the scientific community to develop tools to help farmers manage this pest on their
farm,» said Padgette.
«The SCN genome is the first available for any plant parasitic nematode,» said James McCarter, President and Chief Scientific Officer of Divergence. «This draft assembly,
based on 3-fold sequence coverage of the genome, provides key insights into the molecular mechanisms that enable SCN to invade and drain nutrients from soybean roots.»
Monsanto and Divergence entered into a collaborative relationship in 2004 to discover novel approaches for controlling SCN, and extended the relationship in 2007. Monsanto scientists worked
together with Divergence to sequence the SCN genome as part of this collaboration.