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Crop Biotech Update

Coloring GM Soybean Grains By Suppression of ANR1 and ANR2

November 18, 2011

Scientist Nik Kovinich at Carleton University and colleagues reported in a Transgenic Research article that pigment biosynthesis in soybean coat can be manipulated to provide a distinct color that would allow simple visible detection of genetically modified soybean grain. They observed that the distinct re-brown grain color could be modified by synchronized inhibition of two proanthocyanidin (PA) genes called ANTHOCYANIDIN REDUCTASE1 (ANR1) and ANR2.

Through a separation technique called liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry, they were able to quantify the accumulated seed coat metabolism products. Results revealed that there was a redirection of metabolic flux into the anthocyanin pigment pathway and flavonol-3-Oglucoside pathway. The suppression of the PA genes were found to be caused by the build up of upstream flavonoid intermediates. These findings suggest that transcription of flavonoid genes is an important factor in the redirection of metabolism products flux.

Subscribers of Transgenic Research may view the research article at http://www.springerlink.com/content/0601124135232200/.