Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/18/2010
Publication Date: 7/23/2010
Citation: Gilsinger, J.J., Burton, J.W., Carter Jr, T.E. 2010. Maternal Effects on Fatty Acid Composition of Soybean Seed Oil. Crop Sci. 50:1874-1881. Interpretive Summary: Fatty acid composition of soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) seed oil affects its nutritional value for consumers and its functional value for the vegetable oil producers and end users. Soybean breeding can change the composition of the oil. Sometimes in breeding two different plant types, it makes a difference which one of the types is the maternal parent and which is the paternal parent. The breeding success can be influenced by the decision of which to use as the female and which to use as the male parent. The objective of this study was to investigate the presence and magnitude of maternal influence on the fatty acid composition of soybean oil. Maternal effects were evaluated over two years by analyzing the progeny of crosses between the mid-oleic line N98-4445A and the soybean cultivars Dare, Haberlandt, Ogden, Arksoy, Midwest, and Peking. In one set, N98-4445A was the maternal parent and in a second set, the cultivars were the maternal parent. Results showed that the maternal plant affected oil composition for all parental combinations, but the effect was smaller when the mid-oleic type, N98-4445A was the maternal parent. These results suggest that when breeding soybeans to change the fatty acid composition, choice of which parent to use as the female can make a difference. It is recommended that crosses between two parents should be made both ways, so that each can be used as the maternal parent. In this way, superior progeny can be selected from both and the chance of missing the best combination is lessened.
Technical Abstract: Fatty acid composition of soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) seed oil affects its nutritional value and physical and chemical characteristics. The success of developing soybean lines with genetically altered seed oil is greatly determined by the rate of genetic gain through selection. Maternal effects in plants can influence selection and reduce genetic gain. The objectives of this study were to investigate the presence and magnitude of maternal effects for fatty acid composition of soybean oil. Maternal effects for fatty acids were evaluated over two years by analyzing reciprocal F1 soybean seed resulting from crosses between the mid-oleic line N98-4445A and Dare, Haberlandt, Ogden, Arksoy, Midwest, and Peking, and between the high-palmitic line N02-4441 and Dare. Maternal effects for fatty acid composition were significant across genetically diverse materials and the magnitude of the maternal effect was typically less when N95-4445A and N02-4441 were used as the maternal parents. These data suggest that selection for fatty acid composition based on the phenotype of a single seed in early generations would be largely ineffective but less so if the altered fatty acid parent is used as the maternal parent. Reciprocal F1 and parental 25 day old embryo seeds from the cross between N02-4441 and Dare were also grown in vitro. Maternal effects between reciprocal crosses dissipated when grown in vitro, while significant differences between the parents were maintained. This suggests that factors translocated from the maternal plant may be causing the maternal effect on developing F1 seeds. Thus, it was concluded that the maternal effects are likely a result of the phenotype of the maternal plant.