J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2023, Vol. 65 ›› Issue (10): 2368-2379.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.13561

• Molecular Physiology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Natural variation of GmFATA1B regulates seed oil content and composition in soybean

Zhandong Cai1,2,3†, Peiqi Xian1†, Yanbo Cheng1†, Yuan Yang1, Yakun Zhang1, Zihang He1, Chuwen Xiong1, Zhibin Guo1, Zhicheng Chen1, Huiqian Jiang1, Qibin Ma1, Hai Nian1,4* and Liangfa Ge1,3*   

  1. 1. Guangdong Sub‐center of National Center for Soybean Improvement, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China;
    2. Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Utilization and Conservation of Food and Medicinal Resources in Northern Region, Shaoguan University, Shaoguan 512000, China;
    3. Department of Grassland Science, College of Forestry and Landscape Architecture, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China;
    4. Guangdong Laboratory for Lingnan Modern Agriculture, Guangzhou 510642, China
    These authors contributed equally to this work.
    *Correspondences: Hai Nian (hnian@scau.edu.cn); Liangfa Ge (lge@scau.edu.cn; Dr. Ge is fully responsible for the distribution of all materials associated with this article)
  • Received:2023-04-18 Accepted:2023-08-30 Online:2023-09-01 Published:2023-10-01

Abstract: Soybean (Glycine max) produces seeds that are rich in unsaturated fatty acids and is an important oilseed crop worldwide. Seed oil content and composition largely determine the economic value of soybean. Due to natural genetic variation, seed oil content varies substantially across soybean cultivars. Although much progress has been made in elucidating the genetic trajectory underlying fatty acid metabolism and oil biosynthesis in plants, the causal genes for many quantitative trait loci (QTLs) regulating seed oil content in soybean remain to be revealed. In this study, we identified GmFATA1B as the gene underlying a QTL that regulates seed oil content and composition, as well as seed size in soybean. Nine extra amino acids in the conserved region of GmFATA1B impair its function as a fatty acyl–acyl carrier protein thioesterase, thereby affecting seed oil content and composition. Heterogeneously overexpressing the functional GmFATA1B allele in Arabidopsis thaliana increased both the total oil content and the oleic acid and linoleic acid contents of seeds. Our findings uncover a previously unknown locus underlying variation in seed oil content in soybean and lay the foundation for improving seed oil content and composition in soybean.

Key words: GmFATA1B, natural variation, QTL, seed oil content, soybean

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