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Pan-genome projects provided by Novogene were included in the Natured released 20-year milestone in genomic sequencing

Pan-genome projects provided by Novogene were included in the Nature released 20-year milestone in genomic sequencing

In February 2021, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of the first version of the human genome sequence map, the Nature Genetics and Nature Reviews Genetics, published Nature Milestone to record the development history of sequencing technology and 17 important milestones over the past 20 years. In the Nature Milestones in Genomic Sequencing timeline, the major milestones include some extraordinary advances and projects with the aspect of metagenomics, next-generation sequencing technologies, single-cell sequencing technologies, pan genomics and etc.. These milestones have significantly promoted the continuous development of genome sequencing through advances in research methods and calculation methods, and have also brought new changes to research fields where genome sequencing technology is applied.

Among the pan genome projects, the researchers from the Institute of Crop Science in Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences pioneered to construct and analyze the pan-genome of annual wild soybeans in the world. They published academic research results [1] in on September 14, 2014, which has been highly cited to 366 at this very moment (sourced from Google Scholarship). This release initiates the process of animal and plant pan-genome research and provides methods and enlightenment for the following development in the field of animals and plants. Novogene participated in the research work of this project by providing sequencing and bioinformatics related services.

Novogene Falcon

7 representative wild soybeans of the study were selected for de novo sequencing and independent assembly to construct a wild soybean pan-genome. Through a comparative analysis on gene set, 48.6% of core genes reflected the biological characteristics of wild soybeans; 51.4% of the non-core genes are enriched in pathways related to biological and abiotic stresses, reflecting the wide adaptability of wild soybeans. In terms of the pan-genome, the expertise bioinformatic team from Novogene developed a set of structural variation identification methods based on the sequences aligned to the whole genome, and took the lead in comprehensively analyzing the genetic variation between wild and cultivated soybean species at the whole genome level. The result demonstrates the first pan-genomic research of main crops, which provides new inspiration for studying the genetic diversity and evolution of soybeans and lays solid foundation for the analysis of main domestication traits and the discovery of excellent genes/markers. At the same time, it provides genetic resources for the protection, development, utilization of soybean germplasm resources, broadens of the genetic basis of bred soybean varieties and promotes the process of new soybean varieties.

Novogene Falcon

Since then, pan-genome research methods have gradually ushered in a golden period of development. So far, more than ten species of plant pan-genomes have been constructed, including rice (Zhao et al., Nature genetics, 2018[2]), soybean (Liu Y et al., Cell, 2020[3]), cabbage rape (Song et al., Nature Plants, 2020[4]), sesame (Jingyin et al., Plant Biotechnology Journal, 2019[5]), sunflower (Sariel et al., Nature plants, 2019[6]), alfalfa (Zhou et al., BMC genomics, 2017[7]) and tomato (Gao et al., Nature genetics, 2019[8]). Novogene continues to keep an eye on pan-genome research and carry out related cooperative research projects with trustworthy services. At present, Novogene’s cooperation projects on genome have spread all over the world, especially gained rich experience in the field of pan-genome research.

In 2020, the research teams from National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement and Hubei Key Laboratory of Agricultural Bioinformatics (College of Informatics) Huazhong Agricultural University published a scientific article, titled “Eight high-quality genomes reveal pan-genome architecture and ecotype differentiation of Brassica napus”[9] in “Nature Plants”. Novogene participated in the project part of assembly and annotation. This research provides resources for analyzing the genome structure of Brassica napus and accelerating genetic improvement. It also illustrates that pan-genome research plays an important role in identifying structural variations related to agronomic traits.

Genomic sequencing and life sciences are both fast-developing subjects, and experimental techniques and scientific research fields are constantly innovating. Novogene has always closely followed the paces of direction and innovation, and established a comprehensive technical system covering gene sequencing, molecular biology and multi-omics research. Through the advanced technology and the comprehensive technical system, we will be a “trusted scientific research partner” to escort every milestone research.


[1] Li, Ying-hui, et al. De novo assembly of soybean wild relatives for pan-genome analysis of diversity and agronomic traits. Nature biotechnology 32.10 (2014): 1045-1052. (
[2] Zhao, Q., Feng, Q., Lu, H. et al. Pan-genome analysis highlights the extent of genomic variation in cultivated and wild rice. Nat Genet 50, 278–284 (2018).
[3] Liu Y , Du H , Li P , et al. Pan-Genome of Wild and Cultivated Soybeans[J]. Cell, 2020, 182(1).
[4] Song, J.-M., et al., Eight high-quality genomes reveal pan-genome architecture and ecotype differentiation of Brassica napus. Nature Plants, 2020.
[5] Yu J , Golicz A A , Lu K , et al. Insight into the evolution and functional characteristics of the pan-genome assembly from sesame landraces and modern cultivars[J]. Plant Biotechnology Journal, 2019.
[6] Hübner, S., et al., Sunflower pan-genome analysis shows that hybridization altered gene content and disease resistance. Nature Plants, 2019. 5(1): p. 54-62.
[7] Zhou, P., et al., Exploring structural variation and gene family architecture with De Novo assemblies of 15 Medicago genomes. BMC genomics, 2017. 18(1): p. 261-14.
[8] Gao, L., et al., The tomato pan-genome uncovers new genes and a rare allele regulating fruit flavor. Nature genetics, 2019. 51(6): p. 1044-1051.
[9] Song, Jia-Ming, et al. Eight high-quality genomes reveal pan-genome architecture and ecotype differentiation of Brassica napus. Nature Plants 6.1 (2020): 34-45.