Genetic alteration of soybean oil composition by a chemical mutagen
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Soybean (Glycine max [L.] Merr. cv. Century) seeds were treated with ethylmethanesulfonate (EMS) and the M2 progeny were evaluated for fatty acid composition of the oil. Treatment with EMS significantly increased the variability in content of each of the fatty acids in comparison with those of the Century control. There was a strong inverse relationship between oleic and linoleic acids among seeds from M2 plants. This supports the hypothesis of sequential desaturation as the method of formation of unsaturated fatty acids in soybean oil. A genetically stable mutant with 3.4% linolenic acid was identified that was similar to the cultivar Century in days to maturity, plant height and resistance to lodging.
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