Strategy for enhancement of iron and zinc in biofortified rice

Polished white rice is a major food source for much of the world but is not a good source of the essential micronutrients iron and zinc. Like microbes, plants enhance their uptake of iron from the environment by synthesizing small “iron carrying” molecules called respectively siderophores or phytosiderophores (some of which are also carriers for zinc). Banakar et al. explored the effect of overproduction of two key enzymes in the phytosiderophore biosynthesis pathway.  The transgenic plants overproduced two important phytosiderophores and accumulated higher levels of Fe and Zn in the grain endosperm, Interestingly, the endosperm also accumulated less toxic cadmium, possibly due to competition with the Fe and Zn.  (Summary by Mary Williams) J. Exp. Bot. 10.1093/jxb/erx304

Browse the rest of this week’s highlighted articles