Date of this Version
Plant Biotechnology Journal (2019) 17, pp. 1369–1379
Soybean (Glycine max [L.] Merr.) is a commodity crop highly valued for its protein and oil content. The high percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acids in soybean oil results in low oxidative stability, which is a key parameter for usage in baking, high temperature frying applications, and affects shelf life of packaged products containing soybean oil. Introduction of a seed-specific expression cassette carrying the Arabidopsis transcription factor WRINKLED1 (AtWRI1) into soybean, led to seed oil with levels of palmitate up to approximately 20%. Stacking of the AtWRI1 transgenic allele with a transgenic locus harbouring the mangosteen steroyl-ACP thioesterase (GmFatA) resulted in oil with total saturates up to 30%. The creation of a triple stack in soybean, wherein the AtWRI1 and GmFatA alleles were combined with a FAD2-1 silencing allele led to the synthesis of an oil with 28% saturates and approximately 60% oleate. Constructs were then assembled that carry a dual FAD2-1 silencing element/GmFatA expression cassette, alone or combined with an AtWRI1 cassette. These plasmids are designated pPTN1289 and pPTN1301, respectively. Transgenic events carrying the T-DNA of pPTN1289 displayed an oil with stearate levels between 18% and 25%, and oleate in the upper 60%, with reduced palmitate (<5%). While soybean events harboring transgenic alleles of pPTN1301 had similar levels of stearic and oleate levels as that of the pPTRN1289 events, but with levels of palmitate closer to wild type. The modified fatty acid composition results in an oil with higher oxidative stability, and functionality attributes for end use in baking applications.