Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Soybean


This article describes the nutrient and elemental composition, including residues of herbicides and pesticides, of 31 soybean batches from Iowa, USA. The soy samples were grouped into three different categories: (i) genetically modified, glyphosate-tolerant soy (GM-soy); (ii) unmodified soy cultivated using a conventional “chemical” cultivation regime; and (iii) unmodified soy cultivated using an organic cultivation regime. Organic soybeans showed the healthiest nutritional profile with more sugars, such as glucose, fructose, sucrose and maltose, significantly more total protein, zinc and less fibre than both conventional and GM-soy. Organic soybeans also contained less total saturated fat and total omega-6 fatty acids than both conventional and GM-soy. GM-soy contained high residues of glyphosate and AMPA (mean 3.3 and 5.7 mg/kg, respectively). Conventional and organic soybean batches contained none of these agrochemicals. Using 35 different nutritional and elemental variables to characterise each soy sample, we were able to discriminate GM, conventional and organic soybeans without exception, demonstrating “substantial non-equivalence” in compositional characteristics for ‘ready-to-market’ soybeans.

Concepts: Nutrition, Fatty acid, Glucose, Omega-3 fatty acid, Fat, Soybean, Saturated fat, Sucrose


Agricultural sustainability may represent the greatest encumbrance to increasing food production. On the other hand, as a component of sustainability, replacement of chemical fertilizers by bio-fertilizers has the potential to lower costs for farmers, to increase yields, and to mitigate greenhouse-gas emissions and pollution of water and soil. Rhizobia and plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) have been broadly used in agriculture, and advances in our understanding of plant-bacteria interactions have been achieved; however, the use of signaling molecules to enhance crop performance is still modest. In this study, we evaluated the effects of concentrated metabolites (CM) from two strains of rhizobia—Bradyrhizobium diazoefficiens USDA 110T (BD1) and Rhizobium tropici CIAT 899T (RT1)—at two concentrations of active compounds (10–8 and 10–9 M)—on the performances of two major plant-microbe interactions, of Bradyrhizobium spp.-soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) and Azospirillum brasilense-maize (Zea mays L.). For soybean, one greenhouse and two field experiments were performed and effects of addition of CM from the homologous and heterologous strains, and of the flavonoid genistein were investigated. For maize, three field experiments were performed to examine the effects of CM from RT1. For soybean, compared to the treatment inoculated exclusively with Bradyrhizobium, benefits were achieved with the addition of CM-BD1; at 10–9 M, grain yield was increased by an average of 4.8%. For maize, the best result was obtained with the addition of CM-RT1, also at 10–9 M, increasing grain yield by an average of 11.4%. These benefits might be related to a combination of effects attributed to secondary compounds produced by the rhizobial strains, including exopolysaccharides (EPSs), plant hormones and lipo-chitooligosaccharides (LCOs). The results emphasize the biotechnological potential of using secondary metabolites of rhizobia together with inoculants containing both rhizobia and PGPR to improve the growth and yield of grain crops.

Concepts: Agriculture, Wheat, Poaceae, Soybean, Cereal, Maize, Rice, Staple food


The DA1 gene family is plant-specific and Arabidopsis DA1 regulates seed and organ size, but the functions in soybeans are unknown. The cultivated soybean (Glycine max) is believed to be domesticated from the annual wild soybeans (Glycine soja). To evaluate whether DA1-like genes were involved in the evolution of soybeans, we compared variation at both sequence and expression levels of DA1-like genes from G. max (GmaDA1) and G. soja (GsoDA1).

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Genetics, Gene expression, Evolution, Biology, Soybean, Glycine soja


Land area devoted to organic agriculture has increased steadily over the last 20 years in the United States, and elsewhere around the world. A primary criticism of organic agriculture is lower yield compared to non-organic systems. Previous analyses documenting the yield deficiency in organic production have relied mostly on data generated under experimental conditions, but these studies do not necessarily reflect the full range of innovation or practical limitations that are part of commercial agriculture. The analysis we present here offers a new perspective, based on organic yield data collected from over 10,000 organic farmers representing nearly 800,000 hectares of organic farmland. We used publicly available data from the United States Department of Agriculture to estimate yield differences between organic and conventional production methods for the 2014 production year. Similar to previous work, organic crop yields in our analysis were lower than conventional crop yields for most crops. Averaged across all crops, organic yield averaged 80% of conventional yield. However, several crops had no significant difference in yields between organic and conventional production, and organic yields surpassed conventional yields for some hay crops. The organic to conventional yield ratio varied widely among crops, and in some cases, among locations within a crop. For soybean (Glycine max) and potato (Solanum tuberosum), organic yield was more similar to conventional yield in states where conventional yield was greatest. The opposite trend was observed for barley (Hordeum vulgare), wheat (Triticum aestevum), and hay crops, however, suggesting the geographical yield potential has an inconsistent effect on the organic yield gap.

Concepts: Agriculture, United States, Wheat, Soybean, Organic farming, Crops, Crop rotation, Agroecology


Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in men, accounting for 15% of all cancers in men worldwide. Asian populations consume soy foods as part of a regular diet, which may contribute to the lower PCa incidence observed in these countries. This meta-analysis provides a comprehensive updated analysis that builds on previously published meta-analyses, demonstrating that soy foods and their isoflavones (genistein and daidzein) are associated with a lower risk of prostate carcinogenesis. Thirty articles were included for analysis of the potential impacts of soy food intake, isoflavone intake, and circulating isoflavone levels, on both primary and advanced PCa. Total soy food (p < 0.001), genistein (p = 0.008), daidzein (p = 0.018), and unfermented soy food (p < 0.001) intakes were significantly associated with a reduced risk of PCa. Fermented soy food intake, total isoflavone intake, and circulating isoflavones were not associated with PCa risk. Neither soy food intake nor circulating isoflavones were associated with advanced PCa risk, although very few studies currently exist to examine potential associations. Combined, this evidence from observational studies shows a statistically significant association between soy consumption and decreased PCa risk. Further studies are required to support soy consumption as a prophylactic dietary approach to reduce PCa carcinogenesis.

Concepts: Scientific method, Cancer, Nutrition, Prostate cancer, Soybean, Isoflavones, Genistein, Daidzein


Jatropha curcas seeds are rich in oil and protein. The oil is used for biodiesel production. Jatropha seed cake (JSC) obtained after oil extraction is rich in protein; however, it is toxic (phorbol esters content 1.3 mg/g) and consists of 50-60% shells, which are indigestible. The principle of isoelectric precipitation was used to obtain Jatropha protein isolate (JPI) from JSC and it was detoxified (DJPI). Carp (n = 45, 20.3 ± 0.13 g) were randomly distributed into five groups with three replicates and for 12-week fed iso-nitrogenous diets (crude protein 38%): Control [fishmeal (FM)-based protein]; J(50) and J(75) (50% and 75% of FM protein replaced by DJPI); S(50) and S(75) (50% and 75% of FM protein replaced by soy protein isolate). Growth performance and nutrient utilisation parameters were highest in S(75) group and not significantly different to those in J(50) and S(50) groups but were significantly higher than those for all other groups. Similar trend was observed for protein and energy digestibilities of experimental diets, whereas opposite trend was observed for the feed to gain ratio. Activities of intestinal digestive enzymes did not different significantly between the five groups. In conclusion, DJPI is a good quality protein source for carp.

Concepts: Soybean, Koi, Common carp, Carp, Cyprinidae, Cyprinus, Jatropha, Biodiesel


It is well established that aberrant production of inflammatory mediators has been associated with most the toxic manifestations and the genesis of different chronic diseases including cancer. The basic aim of the present study is to investigate the effects of soy isoflavones (SIF) on 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-induced cutaneous inflammatory responses and to explore the underlying molecular mechanisms. We have studied the protective effects of SIF against TPA induced oxidative stress, pro-inflammatory cytokines level, activation of NF-κB, expression of COX-2 and ki-67 in mouse skin. Animals were divided into five groups I-V (n=6). Groups II, III and IV received topical application of TPA at the dose of 10nmol/0.2ml of acetone/animal/day, for 2 days. Animals of the groups III and IV were pre-treated with SIF 1.0μg (D1) and 2.0μg (D2) topically 30min prior to each TPA administration, while groups I and V were given acetone (0.2ml) and SIF (D2), respectively. We have found that SIF pretreatment significantly inhibited TPA induced oxidative stress, proinflammatory cytokines production and activation of NF-κB. SIF also inhibited the expression of COX-2 and ki-67. Histological findings further supported the protective effects of SIF against TPA-induced cutaneous damage. Thus, our results suggest that inhibitory effect of SIF on TPA-induced cutaneous inflammation includes inhibition of proinflammatory cytokines, attenuation of oxidative stress, activation of NF-κB and expression of COX-2.

Concepts: Inflammation, Cytokine, Asthma, Soybean, Isoflavones, Genistein, Topical, Daidzein


Evaluation of poultry protein isolate (PPI) as a food ingredient was carried out by substituting nonmeat ingredients such as soy protein isolate (SPI) or meat protein in turkey bologna. Two concentrations (1.5 and 2% dry weight basis) of PPI prepared from mechanically separated turkey meat were used in this study. Two control samples were prepared with 11 and 13% meat protein, respectively. Physicochemical characteristics of turkey bologna containing PPI were compared with those of control and SPI-containing samples. Batter strength was higher for 2% PPI and 13% meat protein control samples (control-2) compared with all other treatments. Cooking yield of the 11% meat protein control was significantly (P < 0.05) less compared with other treatments. However, there was no significant difference in the expressible moisture or purge loss among all the treatments. Control-2 showed lower L* values and was more reddish during refrigerated storage. Addition of protein isolates caused a significant increase (b* value varied between 11.48 and 12.52) in yellowness of products. Turkey bologna with added protein isolates showed significantly lower lipid oxidation as indicated by induced TBA reactive substance analysis. Results from this study suggest that SPI or meat protein could be replaced by PPI without negatively affecting product characteristics as evident from cooking yield and purge loss values.

Concepts: Nutrition, Electrochemistry, Soybean, Meat, Soy milk, Soy protein, Domestic turkey, Poultry


Soybeans are rich in immuno-modulatory isoflavones such as genistein, daidzein, and glycitein. These isoflavones are well-known antioxidants, chemopreventive and anti-inflammatory agents. Several epidemiological studies suggest that consumption of traditional soy food containing isoflavones is associated with reduced prevalence of chronic health disorders. Isoflavones are considered to be phytoestrogens because of their ability to bind to estrogen receptors. The literature is extensive on the chemistry, bio-availability, and bio-activity of isoflavones. However, their effects on immune response are yet to be fully understood, but are beginning to be appreciated. We review the role of isoflavones in regulation of the immune response and their potential clinical applications in immune-dysfunction. Special emphasis will be made regarding in vivo studies including humans and animal model systems.

Concepts: Immune system, Inflammation, Epidemiology, Soybean, Isoflavones, Genistein, Daidzein, Tofu


Soybean stored under adverse conditions decreases in protein recovery (content) in the soymilk and tofu yield. This study investigated how protein structural changes contributed to the decrease in tofu yield. Soymilks were produced from original soybeans (Proto and IA2032 cultivars) and adversely-stored soybeans, respectively; and soymilk protein contents were adjusted to the same level before making into tofu. Tofu yield was compared with that made from soybeans without protein content adjustment. For understanding protein structural changes, soy proteins were extracted from Proto soybean by using different solvents, including distilled water, sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), and 2-mercaptoethanol. The proteins in the extracts were analyzed by using SDS-PAGE and gel filtration. Results showed that tofu yield was more significantly affected by protein structural characteristics than the protein content in soymilk. Different levels of aggregations among 7S and 11S proteins during adverse storage were responsible for decreasing protein recovery in the soymilk.

Concepts: Molecular biology, Gel electrophoresis, SDS-PAGE, Soybean, Soy milk, Tofu, Soy protein, Korean cuisine