Coloring Soybeans with Anthocyanins?

  • Nikola KovinichEmail author
  • John T. Arnason
  • Vincenzo De Luca
  • Brian Miki
Part of the Recent Advances in Phytochemistry book series (RAPT, volume 41)


The seed coats of black soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) accumulate all anthocyanins required for the red (cyanidin-), blue (delphinidin-), purple (petunidin-), and orange (pelargonidin-3-O-glucoside) coloration of plant tissues. Metabolic engineering of anthocyanin biosynthesis in black soybean may potentially be used to generate distinct colors for the visible identification of transgenic seeds. Presently the causal agents of black coloration in soybean seed coats are speculative, and factors such as anthocyanic vacuolar inclusions (AVIs), co-pigmentation, and oxidation are likely involved in generating the black phenotype. This chapter is a perspective on anthocyanin biosynthesis in black soybean, the present understanding of black coloration in plant tissues, and potential strategies for engineering seed colors in light of substantial equivalence.


Seed Coat Anthocyanin Biosynthesis Seed Color Seed Coat Color Black Soybean 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors thank Dr. Ammar Saleem (University of Ottawa) for his assistance with HPLC, Dr. Shea Miller for performing the microscopy, and Drs. Malcolm Morrison and Elroy Cober (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada) for providing seeds and for their helpful discussions. We would also like to thank the reviewers for their helpful suggestions. The research was supported by an NSERC Discovery Grant and AAFC project (RBPI 126) to BM.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nikola Kovinich
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • John T. Arnason
    • 3
  • Vincenzo De Luca
    • 4
  • Brian Miki
    • 2
  1. 1.Bioproducts and Bioprocesses, Research BranchAgriculture and Agri-Food CanadaOttawaCanada
  2. 2.Department of BiologyCarleton University, Ottawa-Carleton Institute of BiologyOttawaCanada
  3. 3.Department of BiologyUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada
  4. 4.Department of Biological SciencesBrock UniversitySt. CatharinesCanada

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