The evolutionary forces that govern the divergence and retention of duplicated genes in polyploids are poorly understood. In this study, we first investigated the rates of nonsynonymous substitution (Ka) and the rates of synonymous substitution (Ks) for a nearly complete set of genes in the paleopolyploid soybean (Glycine max) by comparing the orthologs between soybean and its progenitor species Glycine soja and then compared the patterns of gene divergence and expression between pericentromeric regions and chromosomal arms in different gene categories. Our results reveal strong associations between duplication status and Ka and gene expression levels and overall low Ks and low levels of gene expression in pericentromeric regions. It is theorized that deleterious mutations can easily accumulate in recombination-suppressed regions, because of Hill-Robertson effects. Intriguingly, the genes in pericentromeric regions-the cold spots for meiotic recombination in soybean-showed significantly lower Ka and higher levels of expression than their homoeologs in chromosomal arms. This asymmetric evolution of two members of individual whole genome duplication (WGD)-derived gene pairs, echoing the biased accumulation of singletons in pericentromeric regions, suggests that distinct genomic features between the two distinct chromatin types are important determinants shaping the patterns of divergence and retention of WGD-derived genes.