Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Unique soybean lines hold promise for producing allergy-free soybeans

Researchers have isolated two Chinese soybean lines that grow without the primary protein linked to soy allergies in children and adults. The two lines already are adapted to Illinois-like conditions and will be given away to breeders seeking to produce new varieties of allergy-free soybeans without genetic engineering.

Crop scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the USDA-Agricultural Research Service’s Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis screened more than 16,000 soybean lines kept in the USDA’s National Soybean Germplasm Collection. The findings will appear later this year in the journal Crop Science.

The two soybean lines (PI 567476 and PI 603570A) contain virtually identical genetic mutations that do not contain the leading allergy-causing P34 protein, which consists of 379 amino acids, said Theodore Hymowitz, emeritus professor of plant genetics in the crop sciences department at the U. of I.

"We are releasing this information with no patents so that companies and breeders involved with soybeans can incorporate these two lines as quickly as possible," Hymowitz said. Companies in Japan, Canada and across the United States have been following the research effort, he added.

The research, which was funded primarily by the Illinois-Missouri Biotechnology Alliance, went through two stages.

First, using a specially developed immunochemistry approach, Hymowitz’s post-doctoral assistant Leina M. Joseph examined 100 lines of soybeans per day for nine months from the UI-based collection. Seeds were crushed, treated and placed on a membrane for screening. A second screening using stronger antibodies and protein gels was done to confirm the absence of P34 in the two domestic lines, Joseph said.

After the two lines were isolated, seeds were sent to the Danforth Center for additional molecular analysis to determine why P34 was absent. Six identical genetic mutations were found in each, indicating the two lines may be related, Hymowitz said.

"The lack of the protein was confirmed by more-detailed two-dimensional protein assays," said Eliot M. Herman, a lead scientist at Danforth who probed the seeds with post-doctoral researcher Monica A. Schmidt. "We then isolated the gene responsible for the lesion, and we found there was a single significant change in the gene’s sequence that likely produced a protein which could not be made as a stable product."

Herman discovered P34 in the early 1990s and in 2003 had successfully used a gene-silencing technique to create a soybean line in which P34 was "knocked out." However, because of public resistance to genetically modified products researchers have been seeking a more traditional approach. Because the newly identified lines occur naturally, they can be successfully crossed into other soybean lines "without any biotechnology-derived component," the researchers noted.

"Soybeans are slowly but surely increasingly being used in the foods we eat, and with that we are noticing an increase in the number of children and adults that have allergies to soybeans," Hymowitz said.

Currently, 6 percent to 8 percent of children are allergic to soy-based products, including infant formulas, while 2 percent of adults have had allergic reactions, which range from harmless skin reactions and gastrointestinal irritation to more serious facial swelling, shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing and fainting.

Avoiding soy products is becoming more difficult because of soy’s use as fillers and components of many menu items. While people can read labels before preparing meals at home, avoiding soy at restaurants isn’t as easy, Hymowitz said.

Jim Barlow | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Forest Management Yields Higher Productivity through Biodiversity
14.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Farming with forests
23.09.2016 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA

27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>