Genomic landscape of the soybean (Glycine max) genome
The genomic landscape of plants, while slowly being charted, is still composed primarily of unknown territory. The landscape can be related to chromatin domains, transposable element neighborhoods, gene organization, epigenetic modifications of the genome and more. Certain patterns of expression, tissue specific versus constitutive, or high expression versus low expression, are often associated with physical attributes of the gene and genome. We have known for a while that expression is not controlled solely by the promoter but is modulated by transcription factors, small RNAs, parachromatin, as well as by all of the components that make up epigenetics (Jorgensen, 2011). Characterizing and identifying the internal cues that regulate transcription and translation within the genome can help us decipher the form, function and evolution of living organisms. Recently, with advances in technology, a correlation between the transcriptional profile of the gene and the physical size of the gene has been observed. The focus of my research project has been to better understand the internal genomic regulations not contributed to known elements (promoters, small RNAs, transcription factors). Coupling next-generation transcription data with the recently published soybean genome has allowed us to get a fuller understanding of the relationship between the structural parameters of the gene, transcriptional demands and genomic neighborhoods.