Soybean oil contains approximately 20% oleic acid and 63% polyunsaturated
fatty acids, resulting in poor oxidative stability. Increasing the oleic
acid content in soybean seeds can provide improved oxidative stability and
is also beneficial to human health.
Endoplasmic reticulum-associated delta-12 fatty acid desaturase 2 (FAD2) is
the key enzyme responsible for converting oleic acid precursors to linoleic
acid in the lipid biosynthetic pathway. Jing Yang of Jilin Academy of
Agricultural Sciences in China used RNAi technology to knockdown the
] gene in
soybean seeds to increase the oleic acid content.
The GmFAD2-1B was significantly downregulated in the seeds of RNAi-knockdown
lines. The oleic acid content was also significantly increased from 20% to
approximately 80% in the transgenic seeds compared with that in the wild
types. The fatty acid profiles also exhibited steady changes in three
consecutive generations. Furthermore, total protein and oil contents and
agronomic traits of the transgenic lines did not show a significant
difference compared with the wild types.