Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Plant and Soil Science

First Advisor

Meksem, Khalid


AN ABSTRACT OF THE THESIS OF JOSHUA GUNTHER, for the Masters of Science degree in Plant, Soil and Agricultural Systems, presented on November 2nd, 2015, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. TITLE: DEVELOPING CHEMICALLY MUTAGENIZED EMS FORREST SOYBEAN POPULATION FOR HIGH OIL PROFILE. MAJOR PROFESSOR: Dr. Khalid Meksem SUPERVISOR: Dr. Naoufal Lakhssassi Soybeans (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) are the most important crop that provides a sustainable source of oil and protein worldwide. Five major fatty acids are known, Palmetic, Stearic, Oleic, Linoleic and Linolenic acid, and each is essential for both nutrition and biodiesel. Oil demand for biodiesel production is constantly on the rise both because of high crude oil prices and because of the search for a sustainable fuel source. In biodiesel production a high level of Oleic Acid is ideal. Commodity soybean oil usually contains around 20% oleic acid. The objective of this research is to increase the Oleic acid content to increase the quantity of biodiesel that can be produced from one bushel of soybeans. With the process of chemical mutagenesis using Ethyl Methanesulfonate (EMS), soybean populations can be produced with varying fatty acid levels. Once these populations are isolated and tested they can be bred into a new cultivar with higher percentages of Oleic acid and grown on a large scale for biodiesel production. From the ‘Forrest’ cultivar that was used in the chemical mutagenesis process, there was one mutant line (FM3 2014-2031) that produced 43.26% Oleic Acid. This was almost twice the concentration of the Forrest wild type that was used as a control which had an Oleic Acid concentration of 23.17%.




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