Direct stacking of sequence-specific nuclease-induced mutations to produce high oleic and low linolenic soybean oil

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Background: The ability to modulate levels of individual fatty acids within soybean oil has potential to increase shelf-life and frying stability and to improve nutritional characteristics. Commodity soybean oil contains high levels of polyunsaturated linoleic and linolenic acid, which contribute to oxidative instability - a problem that has been addressed through partial hydrogenation. However, partial hydrogenation increases levels of trans-fatty acids, which have been associated with cardiovascular disease. Previously, we generated soybean lines with knockout mutations within fatty acid desaturase 2-1A (FAD2-1A) and FAD2-1B genes, resulting in oil with increased levels of monounsaturated oleic acid (18:1) and decreased levels of linoleic (18:2) and linolenic acid (18:3). Here, we 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. Results: Oil from fad2-1a fad2-1b fad3a plants had significantly lower levels of linolenic acid (2.5 %), as compared to fad2-1a fad2-1b plants (4.7 %). Furthermore, oil had significantly lower levels of linoleic acid (2.7 % compared to 5.1 %) and significantly higher levels of oleic acid (82.2 % compared to 77.5 %). Transgene-free fad2-1a fad2-1b fad3a soybean lines were identified. Conclusions: The methods presented here provide an efficient means for using sequence-specific nucleases to stack quality traits in soybean. The resulting product comprised oleic acid levels above 80 % and linoleic and linolenic acid levels below 3 %.




Demorest, Z. L., Coffman, A., Baltes, N. J., Stoddard, T. J., Clasen, B. M., Luo, S., … Zhang, F. (2016). Direct stacking of sequence-specific nuclease-induced mutations to produce high oleic and low linolenic soybean oil. BMC Plant Biology, 16(1).

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