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Genetic and Biochemical Bases of Tocopherol Accumulation in Soybean (Glycine max [L.] Merr) Seeds

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Title: Genetic and Biochemical Bases of Tocopherol Accumulation in Soybean (Glycine max [L.] Merr) Seeds
Author: Shaw, Eric
Abstract: Soybean (Glycine max L. Merril) is the largest protein and oilseed crop grown in the world and the principal source of Vitamin E (tocopherols) as a supplement. Tocopheols (á-, â-, ã- and ä-tocopherol) are powerful antioxidants responsible for a number of human health benefits, which include a reduced risk of lung cancer, osteoporosis and heart disease. The objectives of this study include 1) investigating environmental influences on tocopherol levels 2) find simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers for selecting favourable lines 3) search the genebank through molecular mapping and use the candidate gene approach to determine which genes play a significant role in tocopherol accumulation. In the summer of 2009 and 2010, 79 recombinant inbred lines (RILs), parents and 10 checks were grown in field trials in Elora, Woodstock and St.Pauls, Ontario. Tocopherols were quantified through high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). A number of QTL linked to SSR associated with individual and total tocopherols have been identified and may be used as an excellent resource for genotypic screening for high tocopherol soybeans. The VTE1 gene has been positively located on LG C1. Sequence alignment on the other lines and primers sets will be carried out shortly to identify any single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that may explain the altered tocopherol levels. Plant breeders may use the genetic information generated in this study to develop improved tocopherol soybean varieties for the nutraceuticals industry and enhance soybean’s standing as a functional food responsible for decreased risk of health related problems in humans.
Date: 2012-03-08

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