DOI: 10.1111/jipb.13561 ISSN:

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

Zhandong Cai, Peiqi Xian, Yanbo Cheng, Yuan Yang, Yakun Zhang, Zihang He, Chuwen Xiong, Zhibin Guo, Zhicheng Chen, Huiqian Jiang, Qibin Ma, Hai Nian, Liangfa Ge
  • Plant Science
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry


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.

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