Glycine is a genus in the bean family Fabaceae. The best known species is the soybean (Glycine max). While the majority of the species are found only in Australia, the soybean's native range is in East Asia. A few species extend from Australia to East Asia (e.g., G. tomentella and G. tabacina). Glycine species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species: The Engrailed, The Nutmeg and Turnip Moth have all been recorded on soybean.
Glycine exerts multiple functions in the central nervous system, as an inhibitory neurotransmitter through activation of specific, Cl−-permeable, ligand-gated ionotropic receptors and as an obligatory co-agonist with glutamate on the activation of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors. In some areas of the central nervous system, glycine seems to be co-released with γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), the main inhibitory amino acid neurotransmitter.