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Crop Science Abstract - Genomics, Molecular Genetics & Biotechnology

Soybean Plastidal Omega-3 Fatty Acid Desaturase Genes GmFAD7 and GmFAD8: Structure and Expression


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 51 No. 4, p. 1673-1682
    Received: Jan 31, 2011

    * Corresponding author(s): greg.upchurch@ars.usda.gov
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  1. Robert G. Upchurch * and
  2. Martha E. Ramirez
  1. USDA-ARS Soybean & Nitrogen Fixation Unit and Department of Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7616


We characterized soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] FAD7 and FAD8 gene structure and expression responses to temperature and pathogen stress to compare and contrast these features to those reported for higher plant plastidal omega-3 (ω-3) desaturases. We found that the genomic structure and deduced amino acid sequence of soybean FAD7 and FAD8 are similar to other higher plant plastidal ω-3 desaturases: eight exons and seven introns, predicted proteins of 453 amino acid residues containing three conserved histidine motifs, amino terminal chloroplast transit peptides, and molecular masses of 51.3 and 51.4 kDa, respectively. GmFAD7 has 76% amino acid sequence identity to GmFAD8. Two complete copies of GmFAD7, one on chromosome 18 and one on chromosome 7, and two complete copies of GmFAD8, one on chromosome 3 and one on chromosome 1 of the ‘Williams 82’ soybean genome, were found with strong sequence similarity to GmFAD7 and GmFAD8 of cultivar Dare. Dare GmFAD7 transcript expression in leaves remained at a relatively low level and was unaffected by any of the temperature treatments we imposed, but GmFAD8 transcript accumulation was sharply upregulated by a cool temperature (20/16°C day/night) after a 12 h exposure and total linolenic acid as a percent of total leaf fatty acids increased from 60 to about 68% after 48 h at the cool temperature. Inoculation of soybean leaves with the fungal pathogen Cercospora kikuchii differentially upregulated the level of GmFAD7 transcripts to twice that of GmFAD8 by 12 h postinoculation. The response of soybean foliar FAD8 expression and linolenic acid levels to cool temperature was similar to observations in other plants. On the other hand, despite increased soybean FAD7 expression in response to foliar pathogen stress the expected associated increase in foliar linolenic acid was not detected.

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Copyright © 2011. Copyright © by the Crop Science Society of America, Inc.