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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MODIFICATION OF SOYBEAN SEED COMPOSITION FOR FOOD, FEED, AND OTHER INDUSTRIAL USES

Location: Plant Genetics Research

2007 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
1. The long-term goal of this Objective is to develop soybean seeds that have increased oil levels derived at the expense of non-structural carbohydrates. 2. Molecular biology techniques will be used to improve the nutritional quality of soybean seed proteins. 3. To develop the molecular basis for modification of the fatty acid components of soybean oil and anti-nutritional components in soybean meal to use in accelerated breeding programs. 4. Identify effects on key performance determinants of crop seed quality resulting from modified seed composition using traditional or non-traditional genetic methods.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
To reach the overriding objective of the modification of soybean seed composition for food, feed, and industrial uses requires a team approach that spans the complete range from basic biochemical assessment of possible target sites to the evaluation of the agronomic properties and value of modified soybeans. Basic biochemical approaches will be used to assess the effect of manipulating the expression of a key enzyme complex that is at the interface of carbon partitioning into oil or carbohydrates. A proteomic approach to the analysis of soybean seed development will allow for the discovery of other key regulatory events that offer possibilities for manipulation. Transgenic approaches will be used to modify the protein content and constitution of the soybean seed such that the nutritional quality as feed can be improved. A similar approach combined with classical molecular genetic approaches to plant breeding will be directed at altering the fatty acid components and anti-nutritional compounds of soybean seed to improve not only the nutritive value of the seed but also the health aspects of soybean consumption. A classical physiological approach serves to address the efficacy of the targeted modifications as they relate to agronomic concerns of yield, seed quality, and storage.


3.Progress Report
A multidisciplinary strategy has been employed to establish a basic understanding of the mechanisms that control soybean seed composition, and to develop multiple long-term strategies for modification of this composition. Biochemical, molecular genetic, genetic, and physiological tools were used as part of the research. The studies conducted during this reporting period included a quantitative biochemical and proteomic analysis of seed development, the biotechnology-based modification of protein methionine content of the seed storage proteins, development of genetic markers and seed populations to be used for generation of low phytate seeds, and a detailed analysis of interactions between the environment (temperature and water) during seed development and subsequent performance during germination and postgerminative growth. In all cases directly relevant satellite experiments provided important supporting information on the statistical bases for grouping of biochemical characteristics, the enzymes and pathways necessary to support increased levels of protein methionine, and the development of mutant populations necessary for both basic genetic and breeding applications.


4.Accomplishments
Development of a proteomics-based platform for study of soybean seed development:

The biochemical composition was determined for the eight defined stages of seed development, and combined with data on the changes in major protein abundance. Computational biology was then used to model the patterns of change that underlie seed development, and systems cartography was used to generate a visual manifestation. While primarily descriptive at this stage, planned expansion of the model will allow the platform to be predictive at a higher state of refinement. The extant platform is suitable for expansion in all dimensions. This accomplishment addresses the NP302 Problem Statement 1B: Applying Genomics to Crop Improvement. By developing a resource for reverse genetics in soybeans, the function of genes that control specific crop traits can be characterized and novel alleles can be introgressed into elite germplasm. NP302 - Component 2: Biological Processes that Improve Crop Productivity and Quality. Problem Statement 2A: Understanding Growth and Development.

Identification of soybean allergen for young pigs:

Soybean meal (SBM), the byproduct of soybean oil extraction, is the main protein source for pig diets globally. In the U.S., 8.6 million metric tons of SBM was used in swine rations in 2004, the most recent year for which data are available. We have identified the soybean beta-conglycinin alpha-subunit as a potential food allergen for young piglets. This finding will aid in the development of both non-allergenic SBM for immunotherapy and the potential production of hypoallergenic soybean plants. This accomplishment addresses the NP302 Problem Statement 1B: Applying Genomics to Crop Improvement. By developing a resource for reverse genetics in soybeans, the function of genes that control specific crop traits can be characterized and novel alleles can be introgressed into elite germplasm. NP302 - Component 2: Biological Processes that Improve Crop Productivity and Quality. Problem Statement 2C: Developing high value products.

Generation of a soybean reverse genetics resource: Two soybean populations were treated with a chemical mutagen, advanced for two generations, sampled for DNA preparation, and harvested to bank the seeds. The DNA from the populations was tested, and found in one instance to be of sufficient mutation density for high throughput screening and in the second instance of reduced mutation density. For both populations, it was determined that polymorphisms identified in the reverse genetics screening procedure could be matched with the corresponding mutant banked-seeds. The development and screening of these populations is an additional tool for basic biological research on soybeans, as well as a source of novel alleles to develop new soybean varieties. This accomplishment addresses the NP302 Problem Statement 1B: Applying Genomics to Crop Improvement. By developing a resource for reverse genetics in soybeans, the function of genes that control specific crop traits can be characterized and novel alleles can be introgressed into elite germplasm. NP302 - Component 1: Functional Utilization of Plant Genomes: Translating Plant Genomics into Crop Improvement. Problem Statement 1B: Applying Genomics to Crop Improvement.

Analysis of Soybean Seed Germination:

It was determined that prolonged high temperatures during development can impact soybean seed quality. High temperatures occur frequently during soybean seed development and maturity, and can negatively affect yield, seed composition, and seed vigor. The effects of a high temperature (37/30 degrees C) treatment on the proteome were investigated using developing (R5-days 1 and 4, and R7-days 1 and.
4)and mature seeds (R8) harvested from plants grown in environment-controlled chambers. High temperature treatment decreased seed quality, and resulted in a greater proportion of abnormal seeds and reduced germination. High temperature treatments resulted in the differential accumulation of several specific proteins; the sucrose binding protein, Class III acidic endochitinase, Hsp22, a late embryo abundant protein, the Bowman-Birk protease inhibitor, and formate dehydrogenase. This accomplishment addresses the NP302 Problem Statement 1B: Applying Genomics to Crop Improvement. By developing a resource for reverse genetics in soybeans, the function of genes that control specific crop traits can be characterized and novel alleles can be introgressed into elite germplasm. NP 302 - Component 2: Biological Process that Improve Crop Productivity and Quality. Problem Statement 2B: Understanding Plant Interactions with their Environment.


5.Significant Activities that Support Special Target Populations
None.


6.Technology Transfer

Number of active CRADAs and MTAs2
Number of non-peer reviewed presentations and proceedings13
Number of newspaper articles and other presentations for non-science audiences2

Last Modified: 8/1/2014
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