Recent Advances in Genome Science Discussed at the 1st International Conference of Genomics in the Americas.

soybean field

On September 27-28, 2012, Dr. Henry Nguyen represented the University of Missouri (MU) in soybean genomics research when international scientific leaders and luminaries gathered in Philadelphia to discuss recent advances in genome science.

The 1st International Conference of Genomics in the Americas, sponsored by BGI and held at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, brought together approximately 400 researchers and other leaders in the genomics field. Over two days of lectures and breakout sessions, they discussed how genomics research in the fields of medicine, agriculture, public policy, and conservation is improving lives and advancing scientific knowledge.

BGI representatives asked Dr. Nguyen, director of the National Center for Soybean Biotechnology (NCSB), to speak at a series of lectures on plant genomics and its applications in agriculture.

Dr. Nguyen co-chaired a workshop on crop breeding techniques using next-generation sequencing. He shared preliminary findings from the “Better Soybean, Better Life” project, in which BGI and the NCSB are collaborating to sequence and analyze soybean germplasm lines.

Dr. Nguyen also presented the NCSB’s work relating to Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) mapping, based on next-generation whole genome resequencing. Attendees learned how MU researchers are using QTL mapping techniques to identify genes that code for desirable traits in soybean, such as drought and pest resistance.

As increases in the global population continue, the NCSB and MU will be called upon to provide high-quality nourishment at lower costs; an on-going challenge that continues to exist through-out the world.

When Dr. Nguyen returned, he brought with him new knowledge of the most recent advances in genomics and new connections to help further NCSB’s discovery of intriguing new facets of this crucial global food source.