ECODA project number: AIP activity 4

Principal investigators: Jim McCullagh

Executive summary

ECODA’s major soybean industry partner, Sevita International, exports a wide range of soybean varieties to Japan for use by Japanese processors to make soymilk and tofu. Each Japanese customer has a different formulation, process and style of product and therefore different soybean varieties work better for some customers than others.

Previous activities of this project identified compounds that had a significant influence on the taste of tofu and soymilk. The current activity studied the expression of these biomarkers across a number of different growing locations and also tested a number of parents being used by the Sevita International breeding program.

This activity addresses two objectives:
1) determine which phytochemicals are common between parents and progeny; and
2) evaluate the interaction of these phytochemicals with the environment.

A series of head to head trials were conducted to assess genotype by environment interactions with respect to the biomarkers that have been identified in previous activities in this project. All parents in the Sevita International breeding program were grown during the 2012 growing season in Inkerman, Ontario, to identify parents that have high and low expression of the identified biomarkers.

After screening, the variety DH863 was found to have a reduced expression of compounds that contribute to a ‘beany’ taste in tofu. The variety DH618 was shown to have high levels of a compound that enhances sweetness in soymilk. Both DH863 and DH618 were used in bi-parental crosses in the summer and winter of 2012. Progeny of these parents were also advanced in the program and will be ready for agronomic assessment in the 2013 growing season.

Access the research project’s final report.

Variety development and fingerprinting — genotype by environment interaction: Development of a designer soybean testing methodology