Project Details:

New Breeding Technologies Applied to Meal (Year 1 of 1920-152-0120-A)

Parent Project: New Breeding Technologies Applied to Meal (Year 1 of 1720-152-0103)
Checkoff Organization:United Soybean Board
Categories:Seed composition, Breeding & genetics
Organization Project Code:1920-152-0120-A
Project Year:2019
Lead Principal Investigator:Wayne Parrott (University of Georgia)
Co-Principal Investigators:
John Finer (The Ohio State University)
Lila Vodkin (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Robert Stupar (University of Minnesota)
Tom Clemente (University of Nebraska at Lincoln)
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Keywords: CRISPR, Gene Editing, methionine, Seed Composition

Contributing Organizations

Funding Institutions

Information and Results

Comprehensive project details are posted online for three-years only, and final reports indefinitely. For more information on this project please contact this state soybean organization.

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Final Project Results

Updated December 9, 2019:
Pretty much all crop seeds exhibit negative correlations between seed components, such that increasing one (e.g. oil) decreases another (e.g. protein). Yield and protein content also tend to be inversely correlated. The prevalence of these phenomena across crops suggests that they are due to the basic biochemistry underlying seed development, and this phenomenon is not well understood. Therefore, a multi-pronged approach to improve seed protein quantity and quality was undertaken. The premise was that since so little was known about increasing protein quantity in seeds, multiple strategies needed to be explored in order to determine the best strategy. These strategies included:
• Altering carbon flow into protein and oil through changes in sucrose transport
• Expressing a gene to impact storage of protein and oil
• RNAi and gene editing technologies to down-regulate a protein-limiting gene
• Gene editing to alter the protein balance through the simultaneous creation of knock-outs that target seed component combinations
• Gene editing to knockout proteins that have a low level of sulfur-containing amino acids. In their absence they could be compensated for by proteins with higher methionine or cysteine content.
• Increasing seed methionine levels by expressing a four-gene metabolic pathway
• Identifying molecular factors that regulate seed growth and development
Several engineered and edited soybean lines are now available for analysis. The results from this analysis should be very useful to select and help design future strategies aimed at improving soybean quality and quantity.

Because genome editing is a new technology, there is still room for improvement. Thus, supporting research aimed to improve knock-out technology for soybean, and develop knock-in technology, as well as to improve transformation efficiency in soybean. The vectors and other tools developed during this proposal are also available and ready for future use.

Project Years