Previous studies reported that omega-3 fatty acid and α-linolenic acid are important compounds that prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer in humans. Soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] oil typically contains ~8 % α-linolenic acid (ALA). Elevated (~15 %) ALA content in seed oil is a trait of wild soybeans (G. soja Sieb. and Zucc.). Decreasing the ratio of linoleic acid (LA) to ALA to 4:1 or lower (compared to the ratio of 6 or 7:1 found in commercial soybean seed) should have health benefits for humans. This study was conducted to determine the environmental stability of elevated ALA acid recombinant inbred lines (RILs) derived from a cross of PI 483463 (wild soybean with 15 % ALA) and Hutcheson (cultivar with 9 % ALA). The fatty acid profile analysis from nine environments showed that the content of ALA for the RILs 156, 159 and 166 ranged from 10.7 to 15.7, 14.0 to 15.8, and 14.8 to 15.8, and averaged 13.9, 14.9, and 15.2 % respectively. The contents of ALA from these RILs and the wild soybean parent showed consistently higher than cultivated check soybeans. Two of the three RILs with elevated ALA content and ratios of <4:1 LA to ALA were as stable in ALA content as the high and low linolenic acid parents across growing environments. This indicates that lines with elevated ALA content developed from wild soybean PI 483463 are stable in ALA across environments and would be useful in improving soybeans with lower LA to ALA ratios.
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