Biotech Updates

Scientists Create Low-Allergen Soybean

May 6, 2015

University of Arizona scientists Monica Schmidt and Eliot Herman and University of Illinois scientist Theodore Hymowitz have created a new soybean with significantly reduced levels of three key proteins responsible for both its allergenic and anti-nutritional effects. Herman and his colleagues at the U.S. Department of Agriculture have identified in 2003 that P34 is soybean's key allergen.

The research team screened 16,000 different varieties of soybean and they found one that almost completely lacked the allergen P34. The team stacked the P34 null with two varieties previously identified by Hymowitz that lacked soybean agglutinin and trypsin inhibitors, proteins that are responsible for soybean's anti-nutritional effects in livestock and humans. After nearly a decade, the team has produced a soybean that lacks most of the P34 and trypsin inhibitor protein, and completely lacks soybean agglutinin. They have called the new variety "Triple Null."

For more about this research, read the news article at the University of Arizona website.