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1.  Mutant alleles of FAD2-1A and FAD2-1B combine to produce soybeans with the high oleic acid seed oil trait 
BMC Plant Biology  2010;10:195.
Background
The alteration of fatty acid profiles in soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] to improve soybean oil quality is an important and evolving theme in soybean research to meet nutritional needs and industrial criteria in the modern market. Soybean oil with elevated oleic acid is desirable because this monounsaturated fatty acid improves the nutrition and oxidative stability of the oil. Commodity soybean oil typically contains 20% oleic acid and the target for high oleic acid soybean oil is approximately 80% of the oil; previous conventional plant breeding research to raise the oleic acid level to just 50-60% of the oil was hindered by the genetic complexity and environmental instability of the trait. The objective of this work was to create the high oleic acid trait in soybeans by identifying and combining mutations in two delta-twelve fatty acid desaturase genes, FAD2-1A and FAD2-1B.
Results
Three polymorphisms found in the FAD2-1B alleles of two soybean lines resulted in missense mutations. For each of the two soybean lines, there was one unique amino acid change within a highly conserved region of the protein. The mutant FAD2-1B alleles were associated with an increase in oleic acid levels, although the FAD2-1B mutant alleles alone were not capable of producing a high oleic acid phenotype. When existing FAD2-1A mutations were combined with the novel mutant FAD2-1B alleles, a high oleic acid phenotype was recovered only for those lines which were homozygous for both of the mutant alleles.
Conclusions
We were able to produce conventional soybean lines with 80% oleic acid in the oil in two different ways, each requiring the contribution of only two genes. The high oleic acid soybean germplasm developed contained a desirable fatty acid profile, and it was stable in two production environments. The presumed causative sequence polymorphisms in the FAD2-1B alleles were developed into highly efficient molecular markers for tracking the mutant alleles. The resources described here for the creation of high oleic acid soybeans provide a framework to efficiently develop soybean varieties to meet changing market demands.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-10-195
PMCID: PMC2956544  PMID: 20828382
2.  Intricate environment-modulated genetic networks control isoflavone accumulation in soybean seeds 
BMC Plant Biology  2010;10:105.
Background
Soybean (Glycine max [L] Merr.) seed isoflavones have long been considered a desirable trait to target in selection programs for their contribution to human health and plant defense systems. However, attempts to modify seed isoflavone contents have not always produced the expected results because their genetic basis is polygenic and complex. Undoubtedly, the extreme variability that seed isoflavones display over environments has obscured our understanding of the genetics involved.
Results
In this study, a mapping population of RILs with three replicates was analyzed in four different environments (two locations over two years). We found a total of thirty-five main-effect genomic regions and many epistatic interactions controlling genistein, daidzein, glycitein and total isoflavone accumulation in seeds. The use of distinct environments permitted detection of a great number of environment-modulated and minor-effect QTL. Our findings suggest that isoflavone seed concentration is controlled by a complex network of multiple minor-effect loci interconnected by a dense epistatic map of interactions. The magnitude and significance of the effects of many of the nodes and connections in the network varied depending on the environmental conditions. In an attempt to unravel the genetic architecture underlying the traits studied, we searched on a genome-wide scale for genomic regions homologous to the most important identified isoflavone biosynthetic genes. We identified putative candidate genes for several of the main-effect and epistatic QTL and for QTL reported by other groups.
Conclusions
To better understand the underlying genetics of isoflavone accumulation, we performed a large scale analysis to identify genomic regions associated with isoflavone concentrations. We not only identified a number of such regions, but also found that they can interact with one another and with the environment to form a complex adaptable network controlling seed isoflavone levels. We also found putative candidate genes in several regions and overall we advanced the knowledge of the genetics underlying isoflavone synthesis.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-10-105
PMCID: PMC3224685  PMID: 20540761

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