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Scientists Discover New Factors that Control Oil Content in Soybeans

Research teams typically focus their work on genes that affect soybean seeds when trying to develop higher oil varieties. However, a study conducted at Purdue University has discovered that genes associated with other parts of the plant also have a significant impact on oil content.

A team led by Jianxin Ma with Purdue’s Department of Agronomy found that changing from a single cytosine to a thymine within the B1 gene would not only eliminate something called bloom from wild soybeans - a powdery substance that coats seeds in the pod and is harmful to animals and humans - but also significantly increase the seed oil content compared to wild varieties.

The findings indicate that other genetic avenues for increasing soybean oil content exist, other than directly modifying the seed itself.

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