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ARS Home » Midwest Area » West Lafayette, Indiana » Crop Production and Pest Control Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #397886

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: Soybean protein and oil variants identified through a forward genetic screen for seed composition

item Hudson, Karen

Submitted to: Plants
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/31/2022
Publication Date: 11/3/2022
Citation: Hudson, K.A. 2022. Soybean protein and oil variants identified through a forward genetic screen for seed composition. Plants. 11(21). Article 2966.

Interpretive Summary: Soybean protein is a valuable commodity for animal feed, and the oil is an important source of energy. For many years there has been interest among biologists to find ways to increase the levels of protein or oil in soybean seed, to bring profits to farmers and feed more people and livestock with limited land resources. These efforts have been hampered by limited genetic diversity among soybean plants. In this experiment, we introduced new genetic diversity through and screened the soybean seed for increases in protein or oil levels. In a multi-year study, we identified heritable genetic changes (protein levels as high as 48% protein, or oil as high as 23% of the total dry weight fraction of the soybean seed). We can characterize these new soybean variants to create high protein or high oil soybean.

Technical Abstract: Mutagenesis remains an important tool in soybean biology. In classical plant mutation breeding, mutagenesis has been a trusted approach for decades, creating stable non-transgenic variation, and many mutations have been incorporated into germplasm for several crops, especially to introduce favorable seed composition traits. We performed a genetic screen for aberrant oil or protein composition of soybean seeds, and as a result isolated over 100 mutant lines for seed composition phenotypes, with particular interest in high protein or high oil phenotypes. These lines were followed for multiple seasons and generations to select the most stable traits for further characterization. Through backcrossing and outcrossing experiments, we determined that a subset of the lines showed recessive inheritance, while others showed a dominant inheritance pattern that suggests the involvement of multiple loci and genetic mechanisms. These lines can be used as a resource for future studies of the genetic control of seed protein and oil content in soybean.