Biotech Updates

Starch-Controlling Gene Fuels More Protein in Soybean Plants

April 8, 2011

Introduction of a newly discovered gene QQS from Arabidopsis to soybean resulted to an unexpected phenotype, said a research report authored by Eve Wurtele and Ling Li of Iowa State University. The gene was able to increase protein production in soybean seed. In Arabidopsis, however, the gene was involved in regulating starch accumulation/deposition and has 59 amino acids compared to the usual 346 amino acids.

The authors hope that the gene discovery may lead to greater understanding of other genes that don't have recognizable functionalities based on their sequences, and could be used in improving the protein content of other staple crops.

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