The legume Glycine max (soybean) plays an important economic role in the international commodities market, with a world production of almost 260 million tons for the 2009/2010 harvest. The increase in drought events in the last decade has caused production losses in recent harvests. This fact compels us to understand the drought tolerance mechanisms in soybean, taking into account its variability among commercial and developing cultivars. In order to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes up-regulated during drought stress, we evaluated suppression subtractive libraries (SSH) from two contrasting cultivars upon water deprivation: sensitive (BR 16) and tolerant (Embrapa 48). A total of 2,222 soybean genes were up-regulated in both cultivars. Our method identified more than 6,000 SNPs in tolerant and sensitive Brazilian cultivars in those drought stress related genes. Among these SNPs, 165 (in 127 genes) are positioned at soybean chromosome ends, including transcription factors (MYB, WRKY) related to tolerance to abiotic stress.
Keywords: deep sequencing; drought resistance; single nucleotide polymorphisms.