Elevation of soybean seed oil content through selection for seed coat shininess

Nat. Plants. Soybean is the world’s sixth most produced crop and is economically important as a source of protein and oil in animal and human food, as well as having industrial applications.  Domestication of soybean has resulted in the absence of seed coat bloom, a powdery coating containing hazardous allergens that protects seeds from predators.  Zhang et al. compared a commercial variety of soybean that lacks bloom (Glycine max Williams 82) with two wild relatives (G. soja) with seed coat bloom, and demonstrated that a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the Bloom1 (B1) gene that confers an amino acid substitution is responsible for the absence of bloom in the commercial variety.  Indeed, the presence of the SNP correlates perfectly with absence of bloom across 302 accessions.  They then showed that the SNP in B1 also confers increased seed oil content by diminishing B1-mediated repression of transcription factors necessary for fatty acid biosynthesis.  (Summary by Mike Page) Nat. Plants 10.1038/s41477-017-0084-7