Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Karen Hudson

Second Advisor

Katy Rainey

Committee Member 1

David Rhodes


Stearic acid is one of the five major fatty acids produced in soybean. It is an 18 carbon fully saturated lipid and is known for neutral or positive effects on LDL cholesterol when consumed by humans. Unfortunately, stearic acid only accounts for about 4% of the total seed oil produced in commodity soybean. Previous work has shown that stearic acid can reach levels as high as 28% of the total oil fraction when SACPD-C, the gene responsible for most of the stearic acid variation in soybean seed, is knocked out. In order to increase stearic acid content and create soybeans with improved utility based on fatty acid composition, we combined SACPD-C mutations with other mutations in the fatty acid biosynthetic pathway. When combined, double mutant progeny carrying mutant alleles of SACPD-C and FAD2-1A do not have elevated levels of oleic acid. However, sacpdc fad3 double mutants have statistically significantly elevated levels of stearic acid and statistically significantly lower linolenic acid.