Date of this Version
Theor Appl Genet (2014) 127:97–111
Soybean oil with reduced palmitic acid content is desirable to reduce the health risks associated with consumption of this fatty acid. The objectives of this study were: to identify the genomic location of the reduced palmitate fap1 mutation, determine its molecular basis, estimate the amount of phenotypic variation in fatty acid composition explained by this locus, determine if there are epistatic interactions between the fap1 and fapnc loci and, determine if the fap1 mutation has pleiotropic effects on seed yield, oil and protein content in three soybean populations. This study detected two major QTL for 16:0 content located in chromosome 5 (GmFATB1a, fapnc) and chromosome 9 near BARCSOYSSR_09_1707 that explained, with their interaction, 66–94 % of the variation in 16:0 content in the three populations. Sequencing results of a putative candidate gene, GmKASIIIA, revealed a single unique polymorphism in the germplasm line C1726, which was predicted to disrupt the donor splice site recognition between exon one and intron one and produce a truncated KASIIIA protein. This G to A change also created the GATCTG motif that enhanced gene expression of the mutated GmKASIIIA gene. Lines homozygous for the GmKASIIIA mutation (fap1) had a significant reduction in 16:0, 18:0, and oil content; and an increase in unsaturated fatty acids content. There were significant epistatic interactions between GmKASIIIA (fap1) and fapnc for 16:0 and oil contents, and seed yield in two populations. In conclusion, the fap1 phenotype is caused by a single unique SNP in the GmKASIIIA gene.