Crop Biotech Update

RNAi-mediated Knockdown of GmFAD2-1B Improves Oil Quality in Soybean

February 28, 2018

Soybean oil contains approximately 20% oleic acid and 63% polyunsaturated fatty acids, resulting in poor oxidative stability. Increasing the oleic acid content in soybean seeds can provide improved oxidative stability and is also beneficial to human health.

Endoplasmic reticulum-associated delta-12 fatty acid desaturase 2 (FAD2) is the key enzyme responsible for converting oleic acid precursors to linoleic acid in the lipid biosynthetic pathway. Jing Yang of Jilin Academy of Agricultural Sciences in China used RNAi technology to knockdown the GmFAD2-1B gene in soybean seeds to increase the oleic acid content.

The GmFAD2-1B was significantly downregulated in the seeds of RNAi-knockdown lines. The oleic acid content was also significantly increased from 20% to approximately 80% in the transgenic seeds compared with that in the wild types. The fatty acid profiles also exhibited steady changes in three consecutive generations. Furthermore, total protein and oil contents and agronomic traits of the transgenic lines did not show a significant difference compared with the wild types.

For more information, read the article in Transgenic Research.