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Breed Sci. 2013 Jun;63(2):205-10. doi: 10.1270/jsbbs.63.205. Epub 2013 Jun 1.

Accumulation of gamma-aminobutyrate (GABA) caused by heat-drying and expression of related genes in immature vegetable soybean (edamame).

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Faculty of Agriculture, Yamagata University , 1-23 Wakaba-machi, Tsuruoka, Yamagata 997-8555, Japan.


We studied the effects of drying of immature seeds of vegetable soybean (Glycine max L. Merrill) on the accumulation of gamma-aminobutyrate (GABA) in the seeds. GABA accumulated after heat-drying, with the maximum at 40°C. The GABA content (447.5 mg/100 g DW) increased to more than 5 times the value in untreated seeds (79.6 mg/100 g DW). In contrast, the glutamate content decreased rapidly to 1/3 the level in the untreated seeds. The GABA content increased early in the heat-drying treatment: after 30 min, it had increased to 1.5 times the value in the untreated seeds. GABA did not accumulate in the vacuum-drying treatment. Among genes related to the GABA shunt, the gene for glutamate decarboxylase (EC, which catalyzes the decarboxylation of glutamate to produce GABA, showed relatively high expression, decreasing to only 70% of the value in untreated seeds even after 4 h of treatment. In contrast, expression of the genes for two catabolic mitochondrial enzymes, GABA transaminase (GABA-T; EC and succinate semialdehyde dehydrogenase (SSADH; EC, decreased rapidly during heat-drying. These results suggest that the accumulated GABA was not metabolized rapidly by GABA-T and SSADH and therefore remained at high levels.


GABA shunt; edamame; gamma-aminobutyrate (GAD); glutamate; heat-related; vegetable soybean

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