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ARS Home » Midwest Area » West Lafayette, Indiana » Crop Production and Pest Control Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #387653

Research Project: Genetic Enhancement of Seed Quality and Plant Health Traits, and Designing Soybeans with Improved Functionality

Location: Crop Production and Pest Control Research

Title: Reduced palmitic acid content in soybean seed as a result of mutation in FATb1a

item Carrero-Colon, Militza
item Hudson, Karen

Submitted to: PLOS ONE
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/21/2021
Publication Date: 3/10/2022
Citation: Carrero-Colon, M., Hudson, K.A. 2022. Reduced palmitic acid content in soybean seed as a result of mutation in FATb1a. PLoS ONE. 17(3): e0262327.

Interpretive Summary: Soybean provides the majority of food oils globally, however the oil from soybean is relatively high in saturated fats that negatively impact the health of human consumers of soybean oil. Variation in the genes that control oil production within the soybean seed can be used to improve the quality of soybean oil by reducing saturated fats. This paper describes a new variant of one of the genes responsible for the production of the saturated fat palmitic acid. This variant is shown to reduce palmitic acid levels in soybean seeds by 50%. This new genetic variant will be used by soybean breeders to create soybeans for healthier oil production with reduced fat.

Technical Abstract: The fatty acid fraction of commodity soybean seeds consists of approximately 12% saturated fatty acids in the form of palmitic acid and stearic acid. One of the main goals of soybean breeding is the reduction of saturated fats to levels below 7% of the total seed oil. Genetic approaches have been exploited to reduce levels of palmitic acid, which is the most abundant saturated fat in soybean seeds. In this study we describe a new mutant allele of the FATb1a gene that encodes a palmitoyl-acyl carrier protein thioesterase. Mutant seeds contain 5.5% palmitic acid, and the mutation is expected to result in early termination of the FATB1A protein. This new allele can be introduced into conventional soybean lines, alone or in combination with other modifications to generate soybean lines with improved oil composition.