Main content area

Classification of distinct seed carbohydrate profiles in soybean

Hagely, Katherine B., Palmquist, Debra, Bilyeu, Kristin D.
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2013 v.61 no.5 pp. 1105-1111
Glycine max, alleles, antinutritional factors, biosynthesis, carbohydrate composition, enzymes, feed formulation, feed meals, genetic background, metabolizable energy, mutation, phenotype, raffinose, seeds, soybean meal, soybeans, stachyose, sucrose
Soybeans are an important source of protein-rich meal for livestock feed formulations. Recent changes in the cost of commodity-based sources of metabolizable energy (ME) inputs has put pressure on soybean meal to deliver both protein and ME in feed formulations. The non-oil fraction of soybean contains approximately 12% soluble carbohydrates, principally sucrose, raffinose, and stachyose. Of these carbohydrates, only sucrose is positive for ME. Both raffinose and stachyose, belonging to the raffinose family of oligosaccharides (RFOs), are considered antinutritional because of the negative consequences of their fermentation in the gut of monogastric animals when RFOs are consumed in the diet. Therefore, there is an interest in improving soybean seed composition so that it contains higher ME and fewer antinutritional components by increasing the sucrose content while lowering the RFOs. Several soybean lines have been discovered that contain altered levels of RFOs, and recent molecular genetic investigations have shown the phenotype to be caused by mutations in a raffinose synthase 2 (RS2) gene encoding the enzyme that is the committed step for RFO biosynthesis. The objective of this research was to determine the variation in carbohydrate profile for different soybean lines grown in a single location containing one of three different alleles of the RS2 gene. The results indicate that, although there is variation in the carbohydrate profiles for each line, different lines with the same RS2 genotype tend to produce a characteristic carbohydrate profile. Although the carbohydrate profile for each RS2 genotype class was consistent in different genetic backgrounds under two conditions grown at one location, more research will be necessary to determine the environmental stability of the carbohydrate profiles in multiple locations over different years.