, 214:158 | Cite as

Genetic analysis of edamame seed composition and trait relationships in soybean lines

  • Guo-Liang JiangEmail author
  • Laban K. Rutto
  • Shuxin Ren
  • Ronald A. Bowen
  • Haley Berry
  • Kyle Epps


Edamame, a vegetable or specialty soybean (Glycine max) with high nutritional and market value, is relatively new to North America. Because of its health and nutritional benefits and globalized trade, the edamame market and acreage in the United States are steadily increasing. To facilitate edamame breeding and commercial production, we genetically analyzed edamame seed composition using 86 breeding lines and cultivars developed in the U.S. Significant genotypic differences based on a single year or 2-year joint analysis were observed for most traits investigated, including protein, oil, dietary fiber, starch, sucrose, stachyose and total sugar content. No significant genotypic difference was observed for ash content in both years and for raffinose content in year 2016. Yearly differences were also significant except for sucrose, stachyose and total sugar. Genotype-by-year interaction was significant for protein, sucrose, raffinose and total sugar, but insignificant for other traits. The heritability was high and relatively stable for protein and oil content, followed by stachyose content, but was low for ash and starch content. The heritability for sucrose, total sugar and dietary fiber content varied from 38 to 75%. Genotypic correlations were insignificant among most traits. However, protein content was negatively correlated with oil content and dietary fiber, but positively associated with stachyose. Oil content was negatively correlated with starch and individual sugars. Although positive phenotypic or Pearson’s correlation existed between total sugar content and individual sugars, and between sucrose and starch content, their genotypic correlations were insignificant.


Edamame Vegetable soybean Seed composition Heritability Genetic correlation 



This study was supported in part by USDA-NIFA Evans-Allen Research Program and USDA-NIFA Capacity Building Grant (CBG) Program (funding awarded to G-L Jiang). We are grateful to the Virginia State University students Rameka Tylor and Zhane Slade for their assistance on the projects. We would also thank Dr. James B. Holland, USDA-ARS Plant Science Research Unit and Department of Crop and Soil Sciences at North Carolina State University, for his advice on the SAS program in analysis of genotypic correlation. This article is a contribution of the Virginia State University, Agricultural Research Station (Journal Series No. 351).


  1. Bainy EM, Tosh SM, Corredig M, Poysa V, Woodrow L (2008) Varietal differences of carbohydrates in defatted soybean flour and soy protein isolate by-products. Carbohyd Polym 72:664–672CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Banaszkiewicz T (2011) Nutritional value of soybean meal. In: El-Shemy H (ed) Soybean and nutrition. InTech, London. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bernick K (2009) Edamame takes root in U.S. Corn & soybean digest. Accessed 26 Feb 2018
  4. Binder K (2010) Edible soybean rises in popularity with U.S. consumers & producers. Farm world. Accessed 16 Apr 2018
  5. Carson LC, Freeman JH, Zhou K, Welbaum G, Reiter M (2011) Cultivar evaluation and lipid and protein contents of Virginia-grown edamame. HortTechnology 21(1):131–135Google Scholar
  6. Choct M, Dersjant-Li Y, McLeish J, Peisker M (2010) Soy oligosaccharides and soluble non-starch polysaccharides: a review of digestion, nutritive and anti-nutritive effects in pigs and poultry. Asian-Australas J Anim Sci 23:1386–1398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ciceka MS, Chen P, Saghai Maroof MA, Buss GR (2005) Interrelationships among agronomic and seed quality traits in an interspecific soybean recombinant inbred population. Crop Sci 46:1253–1259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Diers BW, Keim P, Fehr WR, Shoemaker RC (1992) RFLP analysis of soybean seed protein and oil content. Theor Appl Genet 83:608–612CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Fehr WR (1987) Principles of cultivar development. Theory and technique, vol 1. MacMillian Publishing Company, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  10. Fehr WR, Caviness CE, Burmood DT, Pennington JS (1971) Stage of development descriptions for soybeans, Glycine max (L.) Merrill. Crop Sci 11:929–931CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Geater CW, Fehr WR (2000) Association of total sugar content with other seed traits of diverse soybean cultivars. Crop Sci 40:1552–1555CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hartwig EE, Kuo TM, Kenty MM (1997) Seed protein and its relationship to soluble sugars in soybean. Crop Sci 37:770–773CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Holland JB (2006) Estimating genotypic correlations and their standard errors using multivariate restricted maximum likelihood estimation with SAS Proc MIXED. Crop Sci 46:642–654CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hou A, Chen P, Alloatti J, Li D, Mozzoni L, Zhang B, Shi A (2009) Genetic variability of seed sugar content in worldwide soybean germplasm collections. Crop Sci 49:903–912CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hwang EY, Song QJ, Jia GF, Specht JE, Hyten DL, Costa J, Cregan PB (2014) A genome-wide association study of seed protein and oil content in soybean. BMC Genom 15:1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hymowitz T, Collins FI, Panczner J, Walker WM (1972) Relationship between the content of oil, protein, and sugar in soybean seed. Agron J 64:613–616CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Karr-Lilienthal LK, Kadzere CT, Grieshop CM, Fahey GC Jr (2005) Chemical and nutritional properties of soybean carbohydrates as related to nonruminants: a review. Livest Prod Sci 97:1–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kim H-K, Kang S-T, Cho J-H, Choung M-G, Suh D-Y (2005) Quantitative trait loci associated with oligosaccharide and sucrose contents in soybean (Glycine max L.). J Plant Biol 48:106–112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Li Y-S, Du M, Zhang Q-Y, Wang G-H, Hashemi M, Liu X-B (2012) Greater differences exist in seed protein, oil, total soluble sugar and sucrose content of vegetable soybean genotypes [‘Glycine max’ (L.) Merrill] in Northeast China. Aust J Crop Sci 6:1681–1686Google Scholar
  20. Liu KS (1999) Soybeans: chemistry, technology, and utilization. Aspen Publishers Inc., GaithersburgGoogle Scholar
  21. Maughan PJ, Saghai Maroof MA, Buss GR (2000) Identification of quantitative trait loci controlling sucrose content in soybean (Glycine max). Mol Breed 6:105–111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. McBryde J (2012) Snacking on soy: Arkansas grows edamame commercially. Farm flavor. Accessed 26 Feb 2015
  23. Mebrahtu T, Devine TE (2009) Diallel analysis of sugar composition of 10 vegetable soybean lines. Plant Breed 128:249–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Mebrahtu T, Mohamed A (2006) Genetic variation for green pod yield and quality among vegetable soybean genotypes. J Crop Improv 16(1/2):113–130CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Mebrahtu T, Devine TE, Donald P, Abney TS (2005) Registration of ‘Asmara’ vegetable soybean. Crop Sci 45:408–409CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Messina MJ (1999) Legumes and soybeans: overview of their nutritional profiles and health effects. Am J Clin Nutr 70:439–450CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Ogles CZ, Guertal EA, Weaver DB (2016) Edamame cultivar evaluation in Central Alabama. Agron J 108(6):2371–2378CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Pathan SM, Vuong T, Clark K, Lee J-D, Shannon JG, Roberts CA, Ellersieck MR, Burton JW, Cregan PB, Hyten DL, Nguyen HT, Sleper DA (2013) Genetic mapping and confirmation of quantitative trait loci for seed protein and oil contents and seed weight in soybean. Crop Sci 53:765–774CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Rao MSS, Bhagsari AS, Mohamed AI (2002) Fresh green seed yield and seed nutritional traits of vegetable soybean genotypes. Crop Sci 42(6):1950–1958CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Redondo-Cuena A, Villanueva-Suarez MJ, Rodriguez-Sevilla MD, Mateos-Aparicio I (2006) Chemical composition and dietary fiber of yellow and green commercial soybeans (Glycine max). Food Chem 101:1216–1222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Robertson A (1959) The sampling variance of the genetic correlation coefficient. Biometrics 5:469–485CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Saldivar X, Wang Y-J, Chen P, Hou A (2011) Changes in chemical composition during soyean seed development. Food Chem 124:1369–1375CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Santana AC, Carrao-Panizzi MC, Mandarino JMG, Leite RS, da Silva JB, Ida EI (2012) Effect of harvest at different times of day on the physical and chemical characteristics of vegetable-type soybean. Cienc Technol Aliment Camp 32(2):351–356CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Sharma JR (1988) Statistical and biometrical techniques in plant breeding. New Age International (P) Limited Publishers, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  35. Shi A, Chen P, Zhang B, Hou A (2010) Genetic diversity and association analysis of protein and oil content in food-grade soybeans from Asia and the United States. Plant Breed 129:250–256CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Song J, Liu C, Li D, Gu Z (2013) Evaluation of sugar, free amino acid, and organic acid compositions of different varieties of vegetable soybean (Glycine max [L.] Merr). Ind Crops Prod 50:743–749CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Wang X, Jiang G-L, Green M, Scott RA, Song Q, Hyten DL, Cregan PB (2014) Identification and validation of quantitative trait loci for seed yield, oil and protein contents in two recombinant inbred populations of soybean. Mol Genet Genom 289:935–949CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Wilcox JR, Shibles RM (2001) Interrelationships among seed quality attributes in soybean. Crop Sci 41:11–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Williams MM II (2015) Phenomorphological characterization of vegetable soybean germplasm lines for commercial production. Crop Sci 55(3):1274–1279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Yu X, Yuan F, Fu X, Zhu D (2016) Profiling and relationship of water-soluble sugar and protein compositions in soybean seeds. Food Chem 196:776–782CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Zhang L, Kyei-Boahen S (2007) Growth and yield of vegetable soybean (Edamame) in Mississippi. HortTechnology 17:26–31Google Scholar
  42. Zhang J, Wang X, Lu Y, Bhusal S, Song Q, Cregan PB, Yen Y, Brown M, Jiang G-L (2018) Genome-wide scan for seed composition provides insights into soybean quality improvement and the impacts of domestication and breeding. Mol Plant 11:460–472. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guo-Liang Jiang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Laban K. Rutto
    • 1
  • Shuxin Ren
    • 1
  • Ronald A. Bowen
    • 1
  • Haley Berry
    • 1
  • Kyle Epps
    • 1
  1. 1.Agricultural Research StationVirginia State UniversityPetersburgUSA

Personalised recommendations