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Crop Biotech Update

Stacking Sequence-Specific Nuclease-Induced Mutations Using TALENs to Improve Soybean Oil

October 19, 2016

Controlling levels of individual fatty acids in soybean oil can be used to increase its shelf-life, frying stability, and nutrition. In previous studies, soybean lines with knockout mutations within fatty acid desaturase 2-1A (FAD2-1A) and FAD2-1B genes were generated, resulting in oil with increased levels of monounsaturated oleic acid and decreased levels of linoleic and linolenic acid.

The team of Zachary L. Demorest from Calyxt Inc. aimed to stack mutations within FAD2-1A and FAD2-1B with mutations in fatty acid desaturase 3A (FAD3A) to further decrease levels of linolenic acid. Mutations were introduced into FAD3A by directly delivering TALENs into fad2-1a fad2-1b soybean plants.

Oil from fad2-1a fad2-1b fad3a plants had significantly lower levels of linolenic acid as compared to fad2-1a fad2-1b plants. Moreover, oil had significantly lower levels of linoleic acid and significantly higher levels of oleic acid.

The results here provide a means for using sequence-specific nucleases to stack quality traits in soybean.

For more on this study, read the full article in BMC Plant Biology.