J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2021, Vol. 63 ›› Issue (6): 1036-1053.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.13094

Special Issue: Seed development Grain quality

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Enhanced production of seed oil with improved fatty acid composition by overexpressing NAD+-dependent glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase in soybean

Ying Zhao1†, Pan Cao1†, Yifan Cui1†, Dongxu Liu1, Jiapeng Li1, Yabin Zhao1, Siqi Yang1, Bo Zhang1, Runnan Zhou1, Minghao Sun1, Xuetian Guo1, Mingliang Yang1, Dawei Xin1, Zhanguo Zhang1, Xin Li2,3, Chen Lv1, Chunyan Liu1, Zhaoming Qi1*, Jingyu Xu3*, Xiaoxia Wu1* and Qingshan Chen1*   

  1. 1Department of Agriculture, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin 150000, China
    2Key Lab of Maize Genetics and Breeding, Heilongjiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Harbin 150000, China
    3Department of Agriculture, Heilongjiang Bayi Agricultural University, Daqing 163319, China

    These authors contributed equally to this work.
    *Correspondences: Zhaoming Qi (qizhaoming1860@126.com); Jingyu Xu (xujingyu2003@hotmail.com); Xiaoxia Wu (xxwu2012@126.com); Qingshan Chen (qshchen@126.com, Dr. Chen is fully responsible for the distribution of all materials associated with this article)
  • Received:2021-01-07 Accepted:2021-03-22 Online:2021-03-26 Published:2021-06-01

Abstract: There is growing interest in expanding the production of soybean oils (mainly triacylglycerol, or TAG) to meet rising feed demand and address global energy concerns. We report that a plastid-localized glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GPDH), encoded by GmGPDHp1 gene, catalyzes the formation of glycerol-3-phosphate (G3P), an obligate substrate required for TAG biosynthesis. Overexpression of GmGPDHp1 increases soybean seed oil content with high levels of unsaturated fatty acids (FAs), especially oleic acid (C18:1), without detectably affecting growth or seed protein content or seed weight. Based on the lipidomic analyses, we found that the increase in G3P content led to an elevated diacylglycerol (DAG) pool, in which the Kennedy pathway-derived DAG was mostly increased, followed by PC-derived DAG, thereby promoting the synthesis of TAG containing relatively high proportion of C18:1. The increased G3P levels induced several transcriptional alterations of genes involved in the glycerolipid pathways. In particular, genes encoding the enzymes responsible for de novo glycerolipid synthesis were largely upregulated in the transgenic lines, in-line with the identified biochemical phenotype. These results reveal a key role for GmGPDHp1-mediated G3P metabolism in enhancing TAG synthesis and demonstrate a strategy to modify the FA compositions of soybean oils for improved nutrition and biofuel.

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