Biofortification of major crop plants with iron and zinc - achievements and future directions

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Abstract

Biofortification is a long-term strategy of delivering more iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn) to those most in need. Plant breeding programs within the CGIAR and NARS have made major advances in Fe- and Zn-dense variety development and there have been successful releases of new biofortified varieties. Recent research effort has led to a substantial improvement in our knowledge of Fe and Zn homeostasis and gene regulation, resulting in the identification of candidate genes for marker assisted selection. International cooperation between the agricultural and nutrition community has been strengthened, with numerous implementation and partnership strategies developed and employed over the years. The evidence on the effectiveness of Fe and Zn biofortified crops is slowly building up and the results are encouraging. Biofortification continues to be scaled out and further work is required to reach the general aim of eradicating the hidden hunger of Fe and Zn deficiency in the world’s population and ensuring nutritional security.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-76
Number of pages20
JournalPlant and Soil
Volume474
Issue number1-2
Early online date17 Feb 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

Keywords

  • Biofortification
  • Biofortification strategies
  • Crop plants
  • Iron
  • Low-income countries
  • Micronutrient deficiencies
  • Nutrition
  • Plant breeding
  • Zinc

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