Direct stacking of sequence-specific nuclease-induced mutations to produce high oleic and low linolenic soybean oil

Zachary L. Demorest, Andrew Coffman, Nicholas J. Baltes, Thomas J. Stoddard, Benjamin M. Clasen, Song Luo, Adam Retterath, Ann Yabandith, Maria Elena Gamo, Jeff Bissen, Luc Mathis, Daniel F. Voytas, Feng Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

140 Scopus citations


Background: The ability to modulate levels of individual fatty acids within soybean oil has potential to increase shelf-life and frying stability and to improve nutritional characteristics. Commodity soybean oil contains high levels of polyunsaturated linoleic and linolenic acid, which contribute to oxidative instability - a problem that has been addressed through partial hydrogenation. However, partial hydrogenation increases levels of trans-fatty acids, which have been associated with cardiovascular disease. Previously, we generated soybean lines with knockout mutations within fatty acid desaturase 2-1A (FAD2-1A) and FAD2-1B genes, resulting in oil with increased levels of monounsaturated oleic acid (18:1) and decreased levels of linoleic (18:2) and linolenic acid (18:3). Here, we stack mutations within FAD2-1A and FAD2-1B with mutations in fatty acid desaturase 3A (FAD3A) to further decrease levels of linolenic acid. Mutations were introduced into FAD3A by directly delivering TALENs into fad2-1a fad2-1b soybean plants. Results: Oil from fad2-1a fad2-1b fad3a plants had significantly lower levels of linolenic acid (2.5 %), as compared to fad2-1a fad2-1b plants (4.7 %). Furthermore, oil had significantly lower levels of linoleic acid (2.7 % compared to 5.1 %) and significantly higher levels of oleic acid (82.2 % compared to 77.5 %). Transgene-free fad2-1a fad2-1b fad3a soybean lines were identified. Conclusions: The methods presented here provide an efficient means for using sequence-specific nucleases to stack quality traits in soybean. The resulting product comprised oleic acid levels above 80 % and linoleic and linolenic acid levels below 3 %.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number225
JournalBMC plant biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 13 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Author(s).


  • Genome editing
  • High oleic acid
  • Low linolenic acid
  • Soybean
  • Soybean oil
  • Targeted mutagenesis


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