A novel GmFAD3-2a mutant allele developed through TILLING reduces α-linolenic acid content in soybean seed oil

Tomoki Hoshino, Satoshi Watanabe, Yutaka Takagi, Toyoaki Anai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) oil typically contains 8% α-linolenic acid that is highly unstable and easily oxidized. This property is undesirable in many food and industrial applications. Genetic strategies for reducing α-linolenic acid content would enhance the commercial value. However, genetic resources for low α-linolenic acid content are limited among natural soybean variations. Microsomal omega-3-fatty acid desaturase (FAD3) is responsible for the synthesis of α-linolenic acid in the polyunsaturated fatty acid pathway. There are four FAD3 homologs (Glyma02g39230, Glyma11g27190, Glyma14g37350 and Glyma18g06950) in the soybean genome. While non-functional alleles have been reported for Glyma02g39230 (GmFAD3-1a) and Glyma14g37350 (GmFAD3-1b), little variation is seen in Glyma18g06950 (GmFAD3-2a). We isolated seven mutant GmFAD3- 2a alleles, each containing a single-nucleotide substitution, from 39,100 independent mutant lines by using targeting induced local lesions in genomes (TILLING). Analysis of GmFAD3-2a transcripts and enzyme activities revealed that one missense mutant, ‘P1-A9’, contains a non-functional allele of GmFAD3-2a. By combining three non-functional alleles (GmFAD3-1a, GmFAD3-1b, and GmFAD3-2a), we generated soybean lines containing <2% α-linolenic acid in their seeds. The reverse-genetics-based development of novel mutant alleles in the fatty acid metabolic pathway will allow the improvement of soybean with better oil quality through conventional breeding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-377
Number of pages7
JournalBreeding Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 10 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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