Mutant-based reverse genetics offers a powerful way to create novel mutant alleles at a selected locus. This approach makes it possible to directly identify plants that carry a specific modified gene from the nucleotide sequence data. Soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] has a highly redundant paleopolyploid genome (approx. 1.1 Gb), which was completely sequenced in 2010. Using reverse genetics to support functional genomics studies designed to predict gene function would accelerate post-genomics research in soybean. Furthermore, the novel mutant alleles created by this approach would be useful genetic resources for improving various traits in soybean. A reverse genetic screening platform in soybean has been developed that combines more than 40,000 mutant lines with a high-throughput method, Targeting Local Lesions IN Genome (TILLING). In this review, the mutant-based reverse genetic approach based on this platform is described, and the likely evolution of this approach in the near future.
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