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J Agric Food Chem. 2014 Apr 16;62(15):3453-7. doi: 10.1021/jf4048995. Epub 2014 Apr 7.

Vitamin E levels in soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) expressing a p-hydroxyphenylpyruvate gene from oat (Avena sativa L.).

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Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC, 3054 Cornwallis Road, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709, United States.


The enzyme p-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase (HPPD) is ubiquitous in plants and functions in the tyrosine catabolic pathway, resulting in the formation of homogentisate. Homogentisate is the aromatic precursor of all plastoquinones and tocochromanols, including tocopherols and tocotrienols. Soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) has been genetically modified to express the gene avhppd-03 that encodes the protein AvHPPD-03 derived from oat (Avena sativa L.). The AvHPPD-03 isozyme has an inherent reduced binding affinity for mesotrione, a herbicide that inhibits the wild-type soybean HPPD enzyme. Expression of avhppd-03 in soybean plants confers a mesotrione-tolerant phenotype. Seeds from three different avhppd-03-expressing soybean events were quantitatively assessed for content of eight vitamin E isoforms. Although increased levels of two tocopherol isoforms were identified for each of the three soybean events, they were within, or not substantially different from, the ranges of these isoforms found in nontransgenic soybean varieties. The increases of these tocopherols in the avhppd-03-expressing soybean events may have a slight benefit with regard to vitamin E nutrition but, given the commercial processing of soybeans, are unlikely to have a material impact on human nutrition with regard to vitamin E concentrations in soybean oil.

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