Metabolic engineering of bread wheat improves grain iron concentration and bioavailability
AuthorBeasley, JT; Bonneau, JP; Sanchez-Palacios, JT; Moreno-Moyano, LT; Callahan, DL; Tako, E; Glahn, RP; Lombi, E; Johnson, AAT
Source TitlePlant Biotechnology Journal
AffiliationSchool of BioSciences
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsBeasley, J. T., Bonneau, J. P., Sanchez-Palacios, J. T., Moreno-Moyano, L. T., Callahan, D. L., Tako, E., Glahn, R. P., Lombi, E. & Johnson, A. A. T. (2019). Metabolic engineering of bread wheat improves grain iron concentration and bioavailability. PLANT BIOTECHNOLOGY JOURNAL, 17 (8), pp.1514-1526. https://doi.org/10.1111/pbi.13074.
Access StatusOpen Access
Bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is cultivated on more land than any other crop and produces a fifth of the calories consumed by humans. Wheat endosperm is rich in starch yet contains low concentrations of dietary iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn). Biofortification is a micronutrient intervention aimed at increasing the density and bioavailability of essential vitamins and minerals in staple crops; Fe biofortification of wheat has proved challenging. In this study we employed constitutive expression (CE) of the rice (Oryza sativa L.) nicotianamine synthase 2 (OsNAS2) gene in bread wheat to up-regulate biosynthesis of two low molecular weight metal chelators - nicotianamine (NA) and 2'-deoxymugineic acid (DMA) - that play key roles in metal transport and nutrition. The CE-OsNAS2 plants accumulated higher concentrations of grain Fe, Zn, NA and DMA and synchrotron X-ray fluorescence microscopy (XFM) revealed enhanced localization of Fe and Zn in endosperm and crease tissues, respectively. Iron bioavailability was increased in white flour milled from field-grown CE-OsNAS2 grain and positively correlated with NA and DMA concentrations.
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